The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's basketball team shook off its road woes Wednesday night in Birmingham, Alabama, to complete a Southern Conference season sweep of Samford.
Matt Ryan scored a season-high 28 points and Ramon Vila added 18 in the 92-84 win, only the second league road victory of the season for UTC.
The Mocs (14-8, 5-4), who scored 105 points in a home win against Samford earlier this month, shot 30-of-60 from the field Wednesday night, with 14 of their makes 3-pointers, and they were an impressive 18-of-21 on free throws.
UTC also had 26 assists, with David Jean-Baptiste getting seven of them while also leading the team with seven rebounds. The Mocs won despite Samford star guard Josh Sharkey scoring a career-high 35 points and Robert Allen adding a career-best 21 points and game-high 11 rebounds.
"When we have a high assist-to-basket ratio, we play well offensively," UTC coach Lamont Paris said. "The unselfishness we have on our team is something I can't say enough about. It's great to have guys who are on the same page."
Samford (8-15, 2-7), which has now lost six straight, held a seven-point lead with seven minutes to go in the first half. UTC ended the period with an 18-5 run as Ryan hit three 3-pointers, Vila scored four points on a pair of dunks and Rod Johnson, who finished the game with 15 points, hit a 3 to make it 41-35 in the Mocs' favor at the break.
The shooting barrage continued in the second half as the Mocs hit four 3-pointers in a two-minute span — two from Johnson and one each from Jean-Baptiste and Jonathan Scott — to push their lead to 71-59 with 8:36 to play. Though Sharkey tried to lead the Bulldogs back with several strong drives, UTC hit 10 consecutive free throws in the final minute to maintain a comfortable lead.
The Mocs return to competition with a home contest at 2 p.m. Saturday against Western Carolina, looking to split SoCon games with the Catamounts.