Long leads Chattanooga past Bucs, 78-64
Long leads Chattanooga past Bucs, 78-64
Monday, February 21, 2005


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 21, 2005) - Chattanooga sophomore guard Casey Long hit on a career-high six 3-pointers, leading the Mocs to a 78-64 win over longtime Southern Conference rival East Tennessee State in the Buccaneers' home finale Monday night at Memorial Center.


With the win, Chattanooga snapped ETSU's three-game winning streak and moves to 17-9 overall, 10-5 in SoCon play, wrapping up the SoCon North Division championship and a No. 1 seed in next week's conference tournament. Meanwhile, the Bucs fall to 9-17 overall, 4-11 in league play after having won their last three games.


"It was a tough night for us," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. "Chattanooga played well and we didn't play well enough. We had a lot of clean looks and those have been going down for us in the past three games, but they didn't tonight. We lost to them by 34 at their place earlier in the year, so knew we couldn't play like this and expect to win tonight."


ETSU did not shoot the ball well, hitting on just 23-of-69 shots from the field for 33 percent, and only 9-of-28 from 3-point range for 32 percent. Meanwhile, the Mocs connected on 50 percent of their 3-point attempts and 46 percent from from the field. Chattanooga also enjoyed a decisive advantage in the paint, out-rebounding the Bucs 50-37.


The Mocs jumped out early on offense, leading 18-3 with 12:22 left in the first half. From there, Chattanooga led by as many as 18 points at 34-16 and enjoyed a 40-25 advantage at halftime thanks to one of Long's 3-pointers with just three seconds left before the intermission.


            In the second half, the Bucs implemented a fullcourt press at around the 13-minute mark, going on runs of 9-0 and 7-0 to cut a 20-point deficit to just six at 56-50 with a little over 10 minutes remaining in the game. However, again, a Long 3-pointer stopped the bleeding for Chattanooga and the Mocs held off the ETSU charge.


            "Casey Long really hurt us," Bartow said. "He had only made 24 threes all season, so he was averaging just over one a game. Tonight - he hits six."


            For the game, Long led all scorers with 20, while teammates Mindaugas Katelynas and Chris Brown pitched in 17 and 15, respectively. Katelynas enjoyed a double-double thanks to 11 rebounds.


            ETSU got a team-high 16 points from senior guard James Anthony (Tampa, Fla.), while junior forward Dillion Sneed (Chicago, Ill.), junior guard Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.) and sophomore guard Travis Strong (Memphis, Tenn.) pitched in 13 apiece. Anthony, along with fellow senior guards Sam Oatman (Neenah, Wis.) and Michael Tolliver (Bremo Bluff, Va.) were honored prior to the start of the night's game as they played their last game wearing the ETSU uniform inside Memorial Center.


            The Bucs will return to action Saturday afternoon at Georgia Southern, and the 4 p.m. game will be broadcast on ESPN2. Chattanooga will return home to face Furman Saturday at 2 p.m.