Jahmal Burroughs fought so hard at third-ranked Kentucky that he suffered a broken nose Saturday night.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga was down 20 points as Burroughs fought for an offensive rebound and the Wildcats' Doron Lamb smacked his face -- with a flailing first or elbow, he's not sure.
Burroughs headed to the Mocs' bench, where athletic trainer B.J. Leyser snapped on a latex glove and tried to control the bleeding.
Burroughs, who started in place of indefinitely suspended Chris Early, returned to the game with cotton rolls stuffed in each nostril. He finished UTC's 87-62 loss with three rebounds and three points in 19 minutes of play.
He arrived at practice Monday looking much the same with two plugged nostrils plus a swollen bridge.
The injury limited some of his practice time Monday. It's not like the Mocs need him to dispatch Hiwassee in Wednesday's noon game, but he plans to play.
"I can't wear a mask because even if I get hit with it, it's going to make it worse," Burroughs said, sounding rather nasal but upbeat. "But I'm playing Wednesday."
Burroughs' effort and intensity, exemplified by his lasting wounds, exemplified what the Mocs were able to accomplish before 23,211 rabid fans -- fight.
"Z [Mason] did well on the boards, and I think I came through for the team in hustle stats that you don't see," Burroughs said. "We both stepped up. That's what we [need to do], as players and as a team -- we have to rise up to the occasion."
The Mocs should not need to rise up against Hiwassee, which is part of the National Christian College Athletic Association, just as they won by 50 points over NCAA Division III Spalding last week, putting the game at Kentucky in a non-Division I sandwich.
The three games against unequal competition doesn't change the primary focus of UTC -- just improve.
"I can't worry about Kentucky, so let's do what we do and we did," said Shulman, who gave the team Sunday off and watched NFL games with his sons.
Seniors Omar Wattad and Ricky Taylor said the Mocs needed a break, and Taylor spent it by celebrating his Saturday morning graduation with family and friends on Sunday.
"Let's worry about Chattanooga," Shulman said. "Let's get better at what we do. You can do that against UK, Spalding, Hiwassee. The opponent part doesn't matter."
Competing hard enough to earn a broken nose does matter.
Contact David Uchiyama at email@example.com or 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.