published Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

UTC Mocs' Nick Soto is SoCon wrestler of month

UTC's Nick Soto (yellow) takes on Oklahoma State's Brian Crutchmer (orange) during the Southern Scuffle NCAA wrestling tournament at McKenzie Arena in Chattanooga on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. Soto won the bout 3-2.
UTC's Nick Soto (yellow) takes on Oklahoma State's Brian Crutchmer (orange) during the Southern Scuffle NCAA wrestling tournament at McKenzie Arena in Chattanooga on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. Soto won the bout 3-2.
Photo by C. B. Schmelter.

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga junior 133-pounder Nick Soto was the Southern Conference wrestler of the month for December, the league office announced Tuesday. Following teammate Corey Mock as the November honoree, Soto went 8-0 last month with highlights being a 15-8 victory over Stanford's top-ranked Ryan Mango and two days later the 133-pound title with a 5-0 run in the Reno Tournament of Champions. Soto is 20-6 this year and ranked 11th in the nation. UTC, meanwhile, is two spots out of the USA Today/NWCA/AWN coaches' Top 25 going into this weekend's Virginia Duals in Hampton, Va. The Mocs open Friday at 9 a.m. against Arizona State.

• UTC's athletes set an all-time school high with 12 teams recording a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale for the fall 2013 semester, and they tied a UTC record with 33 individual 4.0 GPAs for the semester, including seven runners and two SoCon athletes of the year in their sports: women's runner Teghan Henderson and football top defender Davis Tull. Fully 57 percent of the Mocs made the athletic director's honor roll with 3.0s or better. Women's cross country had the top team GPA of 3.72, and the softball team tied its program record with a 3.36. The overall cumulative GPA was 2.99. "We just missed our goal of an overall 3.0 for the entire athletics department, but I am excited about the direction we are heading," AD David Blackburn said in a UTC release. "Any time you do something better than it has ever been done before is cause for celebration and recognition."

Basketball

• Host Piedmont College outscored Sewanee by eight points in the second half and pulled out a 58-55 NCAA Division III men's basketball victory Tuesday night in Demorest, Ga. Alton Honors II and Brian Edwards scored 12 points each to lead the Lions (5-5), but the visiting Tigers (6-4) had the two top scorers in the game: Jorden Williams with 18 points and Keshonn Carter with 14, plus four assists. Leo Born had nine rebounds in defeat.

• The Cleveland State Community College basketball teams began the 2014 parts of their schedules with victories Tuesday night against Tennessee Temple's junior varsities. The Lady Cougars' 80-55 was their 11th in a row; the 8-5 Cougars rallied for a 72-61 triumph with Keevin Tyus scoring 18 points and Robert Brandon, Stetson Moore and Travis Wildgoose adding 13, 11 and 10, Wildgoose with 12 rebounds. Dave Tackett scored 16 points for Temple, and Shaun Patrick and Lance Nicks tallied 15 each. Aysia Grimsley scored 19 for the Lady Cougars (13-1), while Jamesha Mosley had 18 and Markiesha Campbell scored 10. Brandi Ebert and Steffi Monroe had 19 and 17 for Temple.

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