ASHEVILLE, N.C. --- The Chattanooga Mocs (11-21) ended their season Friday night with a 76-70 loss to Georgia Southern (15-14) in the first round of the Southern Conference tournament. The loss came despite an incredible effort from senior Jahmal Burroughs (New Orleans, La.).
Burroughs scored 15 points and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds to lead the Mocs. He was one of four UTC student-athletes in double digits.
GSU's Eric Ferguson led all scorers with 26 points while grabbing eight boards. Jelani Hewitt added 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Chattanooga scored the games' first seven points en route to building a 14-point first half lead. Leading 13-8, UTC went on an 11-2 run to make it 24-10 at the 8:35 mark on two Dontay Hampton (Chattanooga, Tenn.) free throws.
The Eagles closed to within three, 31-28, on a three-pointer by Tre Bussey. The Mocs scored the next eight points as two more Hampton free tosses got the lead back to 11, 39-28, at 2:15, before taking a 42-34 advantage into intermission.
The Eagles turned up the pressure in the second half. They tied the game at 46-all and 51-all with the Mocs quickly taking the lead back. It was a seven-point lead, 60-53, at 9:09 when GSU made another run.
Georgia Southern scored 10 of the next 12 points to take its first lead. Ben Drayton's layup at 5:37 made it 63-62 GSU. Burroughs scored on a layup off a nice feed from Ricky Taylor (Brownsville, Tenn.) 25 seconds later to reclaim the lead.
Willie Powers jumper for the Eagles was off the mark on their next possession, but Marvin Baynham kept it alive. He hit Jessie Pernell at the top of the key. His three-pointer gave Georgia Southern the lead for good, 66-64, at 4:33.
The Mocs closed within one point twice and two once in the final minutes, but could not get over the hump. Ferguson was 4-4 from the free throw line down the stretch to seal the win for the Eagles.
Powered by Burroughs' 13 rebounds, the Mocs won the battle of the glass 41-31. They also shot 80 percent from the free throw line draining 28 of 35. In the end, Chattanooga was doomed by 35.8 percent shooting from the field, including 22.2 percent from three-point range, and 16 turnovers. The Eagles scored 23 points off those 16 miscues.GoMocs.com is the official website of the Chattanooga Mocs. The Mocs can also be followed on their official Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ChattanoogaMocs, or on Twitter, www.twitter.com/GoMocs. Find out how to join the UTC Mocs Club and support more than 300 student-athletes by clicking here.