Chattanooga Mocs rout Warren Wilson Owls

Chattanooga Mocs rout Warren Wilson Owls

November 22nd, 2011 by David Uchiyama in Sports - College

UTC men's basketball coach John Shulman, right, talks to Chris Early during the game against Warren Wilson Monday at McKenzie Arena.

Photo by Angela Lewis/Times Free Press.

Scrappy may have been the best shooter in the building.

Warren Wilson College surely could have used the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga mascot, who buried five 3-pointers during a 30-second halftime competition.

He would have fit right in with the Owls from Swannanoa, N.C., who struggled to do anything offensively in their 88-36 loss to UTC.

The Mocs earned their first win of the season -- after losses at Indiana and Butler and a home loss to Kennesaw State's Owls -- by bullying the team affiliated with the United States Collegiate Athletic Association. Warren Wilson has an enrollment of about 900 students.

"We took baby steps to get better," UTC coach John Shulman said. "We're not there, but it does feel good to be in a decent mood after a game, I don't care who you're playing."

Senior Ricky Taylor led UTC with 17 points off the bench. Drew Baker, who started for the first time in his career, added a career-high 14. Dontay Hampton scored 11 points and made seven steals. Zaccheus Mason grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds.

"It was a lot of pressure, but I'm not going to turn it down," said Baker, who began his career as a manager. "I didn't want to let [Shulman] down because I have to give him credit for believing in me."

UTC turned a 7-4 edge into a 26-4 lead by using a 1-2-2 full-court press and a half-court trap that held the Owls scoreless for more than seven minutes.

The Mocs led 45-17 at halftime after forcing 17 turnovers and limiting WWC to 6-of-24 from the floor.

UTC set a school record with 21 steals and turned 29 Owls turnovers into 33 points while also scoring 42 points in the paint.

"It feels phenomenal right now," Taylor said. "Our team came together to lock down defensively."

Shulman played all 13 healthy players. All but freshman Trey Brown -- who had the option to redshirt this season but didn't -- scored at least two points against the Owls, who were overmatched when their bus pulled into the McKenzie Arena parking lot.

UTC will play two more non-Division I teams this season.

"It gives us a chance to get better, to work on our offense and our defense and do different defensive schemes to see who's ready and who's not," Taylor said. "Tonight some positive things came from a lot of players."

Stokes' ankle injured

Freshman guard Lance Stokes sprained his left ankle in the last five-minute session of practice Sunday, when he became tangled with Omar Wattad.

"We were done with practice, but I wanted to see five more minutes and he sprained it in that time," Shulman said. "They're saying a week and take a look at it again."

Contact David Uchiyama at duchiyama@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.