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Staff photo by Robin Rudd / UTC's Silvio De Sousa reaches to pull in an offensive rebound during the Mocs' nonconference game against College of Charleston on Saturday at McKenzie Arena. The Cougars won 68-66.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's basketball team took its first loss of the season Saturday, falling 68-66 to the College of Charleston on a tipped-in shot by Dimitrius Underwood with 1.7 seconds to play at McKenzie Arena.

The Mocs (5-1) return to competition Tuesday, when they face Tennessee Tech (2-4) at 7 p.m. Eastern in Cookeville. UTC beat the Golden Eagles 69-62 on Nov. 16 in Chattanooga.

On Saturday, the Mocs led 34-25 at halftime after holding the Cougars (4-2) to 33% shooting, but the visitors got back in the contest with a 25-3 run — including 20 straight points. The Cougars led 64-58 with 2:41 to play, but the Mocs rallied with eight of the last 10 points to tie on Malachi Smith's steal and score with 13 seconds remaining.

After Underwood's basket, UTC attempted one last full-court heave to Silvio De Sousa for a potential tying or winning play, but the pass was bobbled and the Mocs were unable to get off a shot.

Photo Gallery

UTC men vs. College of Charleston on Nov. 27, 2021

The Mocs were guilty of a season-high 16 turnovers — 10 in the second half as they struggled against the physicality of the Cougars — and credited with just seven assists.

Silvio De Sousa had a season-high 21 points, adding six rebounds and three blocks. David Jean-Baptiste had 18 points and a team-high seven rebounds, while Darius Banks scored 11 points.

College of Charleston, led by Reyne Smith's 18 points, shot 56% from the field in the final 20 minutes and committed six turnovers after having five in the first half.

"They've got a gritty team, a scrappy team," UTC coach Lamont Paris said. "They play physical, and I think that was a factor as far as our cuts. It's all this freedom of movement I hear is supposed to be improving the game, and there wasn't a lot of freedom of movement, but you have to adapt to it and adjust to how the game is being played, and we adjusted by being stagnant and not moving as much."

Compiled by Gene Henley. Contact him at ghenley@timesfreepress.com.

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