CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Chattanooga’s Z Mason proved to be too much for the Elon University men’s basketball team to handle on Thursday night, Jan. 23, at McKenzie Arena, as Mason led the Mocs to a 84-63 victory over the Phoenix.
Mason finished with 27 points and 11 rebounds, leading a second-half Chattanooga surge to help UTC remain unbeaten in league play at 7-0 (13-8 overall). Elon drops to 10-10 (3-2 Southern Conference) with the setback.
“Chattanooga played very well on both ends and better than us on both ends,” said Elon head coach Matt Matheny. “We started well and really competed in the first half. They took a lot of momentum into the half after hitting that three-quarters-court shot and we struggled offensively against the matchup zone in the second half and it got away from us.”
Mason finished 6-of-11 from the field to lead three Mocs in double figures. Ronrico White came off the bench for 13 points, while Gee McGhee added 13 as well, including his three-quarters-court buzzer beater just prior to intermission.
Sebastian Koch and Luke Eddy each tallied a team-high 11 points, while Lucas Troutman and Tanner Samson added 10 apiece.
UTC outrebounded Elon, 35-25, scoring 15 second-chance points off 11 offensive rebounds.
Elon began the game on an 8-0 run following back-to-back triples by Koch and Samson. The Phoenix led by as many as eight in the opening stanza, until Z Mason gave the Mocs a one-point edge and momentum with 13:47 to play after tripling from the top of the key to make it a 13-12 game.
UTC carried a 41-32 lead into the locker room at intermission following a half-court heave as time expired by Gee McGhee. The Mocs shot 50 percent (14-of-28) in the opening frame, knocking down 5-of-8 from long distance. The Phoenix could not find an answer for Mason in the first 20 minutes, as the senior registered 15 first-half points.
The Mocs began the second session on a 14-4 run and led by as many as 22 points following an Elon technical foul and two made free throws that made it a 61-39 game with less than 12 minutes to play. UTC led by as many as 25 points, keeping Elon within arm’s length to remain unbeaten in league play.
Elon returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 25, at Samford. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET).