CHATTANOOGA – Winning is not usual territory for Chattanooga, since they have a better than .800 winning percentage over the years in the annual Dr. Pepper Classic, but winning by 24 points is a little unusual as the Mocs beat up on Murray State 74-50.
To understand the total destruction that took place here in the second game of the night it would be appropriate to whip out some stats.
Chattanooga (8-4) held the Racers to just 5.9 percent, that is not a typo, it really was 5.9 percent (1-17) from 3-point land. Another coach once said he could stand at half court and drop kick in one in 17 attempts. Well he actually said 18 attempts, but close enough.
Murray State (5-5) took a whopping 60 shots and made just 18 of them for a paltry 30 percent from the field while the Mocs were very efficient shooting 50 percent (22-44) from the field including 47.7 from beyond the 3-pointline (9-19).
Chattanooga out-scored the Racers 40-23 in the first half and 34-27 in the second half.
The only drama in the game happened twice and it both times it was only a slight drama. In the first half when the Mocs were up by 17 points with 10:52 left and Murray State went on a little run fueled by hitting three layups and five foul shots to get the game to within nine points at 26-17 at the 6:33 mark.
A couple of foul shots by Kenyon Sheard stopped the bleeding and Mocs went back to dismantling the Racers.
In the second half the Races went on a 9-0 run to cut the Mocs’ lead from 17 points to eight points at 40-32. Chattanooga put that to an end with an 11-4 run over the next almost six minutes to get the score back to 51-36 with 12:16 left yo play.
Chattanooga coach John Shulman didn’t like the little runs too much but was thankful his bench came in and played well.
“You give up a 17 point lead and how comfortable do you feel? Our bench carried us and pulled it out for us,” said Shulman. “I went with them (bench) and now they feel good about themselves.”
Murray State coach Billy Kennedy thought the Mocs defense had a lot to do with his team’s poor shooting along with just missing shots they normally make.
“Their defense was very good and we just missed shots,” explained Kennedy. “They were more physical and they played with a lot of confidence.
Kevin Goffney came off the bench for Chattanooga to lead all scorers with 16 points.
-Murray State leads the all-time series 4-2.
-The Mocs are 29-6 all-time in the Dr. Pepper Classic.
-Shulman was joking around during his post game comments when he said he was trying to find a way to keep Wright State coach Brad Brownell’s team out of the tournament but couldn’t find another team to play. He meant that as a tribute to how good the Raiders are this year.
-Murray State plays Belmont at 6 pm on Sunday.
-Wright State plays host Chattanooga at 8 pm on Sunday.