The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's basketball team fell to 1-2 for the season with a 70-48 loss to Butler University on Tuesday at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The Mocs shot a pedestrian 34 percent from the field. Defensively they had their moments against the Bulldogs, who were picked to finish seventh in the Big East Conference, but succumbed to an eight-minute scoring drought in the second half that allowed the home team to pull away.
The Mocs held their own in the first 20 minutes, trailing only 25-22 despite committing 12 team fouls compared to six for Butler (2-0). They maintained a lead throughout most of the half, the last time being on an Eric Robertson 3-point basket with 2:58 to go that gave them a 22-20 advantage, but two Alex Barlow free throws and a Kellen Dunham 3-pointer pushed the Bulldogs back out in front.
UTC's Casey Jones, Lance Stokes, Tre' McLean and Ronrico White were each whistled for two fouls apiece in the first 20 minutes.
"The game really got away from us at the end of the first half," UTC coach Will Wade said on the postgame radio broadcast. "We should have gone in (the locker room) tied or with the lead, but we had some foul trouble and had to play some guys maybe that weren't quite ready, and it really got away from us."
Robertson kept the Mocs in the game with a trio of 3s in the opening half. He hit his fourth 3 with 18:06 to go in the game, which trimmed the Butler lead to 29-25, but from that point forward the Mocs went on a cold spell. Butler's lead hit double digits for good around the nine-minute mark, and the Mocs never threatened the rest of the way.
After playing only four minutes in the first half, Jones led the team in scoring with all 14 of his points coming in the final 20 minutes. Robertson was next with his 12 points.
Dunham had 26 points for Butler, while Kameron Woods had 10 points and 16 rebounds.
The Mocs' next game is Saturday at Tennessee Tech. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. EST.