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Ricky Taylor couldn't quite remember the score.

His University of Tennessee at Chattanooga basketball team lost by a combined nine points, "maybe 10 or 11," in the final two 20-minute scrimmages at Ole Miss on Sunday. He remembered that the Mocs won one of four first-to-11 games against the Rebels.

On the scoreboard, UTC lost. In the value gained by playing the team picked second in the SEC West Division, the Mocs were winners.

"I felt like we won it, but by points we lost, but I don't think that matters," said Taylor, a junior captain. "I feel like we really won at the scrimmage. We met our expectations."

The Mocs, who were picked third in the Southern Conference North Division by the league's coaches, faced guys wearing another color jersey for the first time since exiting the SoCon tournament quarterfinals last year.

"We didn't shoot it very well so offensively we struggled, and defensively I think we did pretty good and very good on the glass," junior forward Chris Early said. "I think we lost, but not by much. It was pretty even."

Coach John Shulman and his staff reviewed clips of the scrimmage with the Mocs during their one-hour meeting before practice Monday.

"It was there; we took charges; we were on the same page," Taylor said. "On the way back, we ate pizza and talked about our mistakes and joked about it, as in somebody got crossed up and somebody else almost got dunked on."

The Mocs will take today off and return to practice Wednesday in preparation for an exhibition game against Tennessee Wesleyan on Thursday at about 8 p.m. - after the Lady Mocs play Lee University at 5:30.

"What's next is our thought of the day: Build off of a positive experience," Shulman said. "We got beat pretty good at Auburn last year and came out of there feeling OK. We should feel pretty good today."

UTC senior center Jeremy Saffore did not play because of headaches, and University of Georgia transfer Drazen Slovaric did not go on the trip as he must sit out the season per NCAA transfer rules. Everybody else dressed and made the trip, including the walk-ons.

"We made hustle plays, we battled, we got down and came back," Shulman said. "Omar Wattad shot the ball poorly but made a huge impact in the play.

"All in all, it was a very positive day."

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

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