Staff Photo by Angela Lewis/Chattanooga Times Free Press UTC players Dontay Hampton, Jahmal Burroughs, DeAntre Jefferson and Omar Wattad, from left, watch their team lose as they wait to go back into the game against Wofford at McKenzie Arena.
NBA rising star Stephen Curry never lost to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga as a Southern Conference superstar for Davidson, but his squads never annihilated the Mocs like Wofford has this season, including a 39-point win at UTC on Wednesday.
"We could have zoned it up and got beat by 24 or 28," UTC coach John Shulman said. "If you're going to wax me, go ahead and take your punches. What's the difference in getting beat by 14 or 39? One is an 'L' and the other is an 'L.'"
Wofford has delivered UTC its two worst regular-season Southern Conference losses under Shulman, who is in his seventh season running the program.
The Terriers smacked UTC 97-58 on Wednesday following the Mocs' senior-night ceremony. Noah Dahlman and Co. had pummeled the Mocs 88-56 last month in Spartanburg, S.C.
"It is frustrating knowing how good they are, and you try to prepare mentally and physically for a team like Wofford, and this ends up being the result," UTC point guard Keegan Bell said. "It's disappointing, especially after a big win versus Furman on Monday."
The next two largest margins of loss for UTC came at the hands of Curry-led teams—30 points in 2007 and 27 in 2008.
The fifth largest margin of defeat for Shulman came this year at Furman, 85-59. The Mocs avenged that loss with a 75-59 beating of Furman with the assistance of a "Black-Out" promotion Monday.
UTC has lost a SoCon regular season game by 26 points or more five times under coach John Shulman. Three of those games were played this year. The other two featured Stephen Curry.
39 at Wofford/97-58/Feb. 23, 2011
32 at Wofford /88-65/ Jan. 22, 2011
30 at Davidson/ 87-57/ Feb. 6, 2007
27 at Davidson/ 85-58/ Jan 19, 2008
26 at Furman/ 85-59/ Jan. 22, 2011
"We got payback on Furman," Shulman said. "What Monday did was make Wednesday a big letdown. I felt that before the game Wednesday. I told the team, 'Just because fans aren't wearing black doesn't mean anything. They weren't there in Spartanburg. You were.'"
The speech didn't sink in. UTC went more than eight minutes without a field goal in the first half and fell behind 45-21 at halftime Wednesday.
"As high as we were Monday," Shulman said Thursday, "we were as low last night."
Three of Shulman's five largest SoCon defeats have come this season. Wofford was a bucket away from matching the margin Louisville beat UTC by earlier this season in Louisville's brand-new arena -- 41 points.
"Perception is perception," Shulman said. "A loss is a loss. You don't want to lose by 39 and you don't want to lose on a foul in the last second.
"What's the difference between losing by 39 and losing with point-9 on the clock? You don't want to get beat, period."
Getting beat is one thing, like when UTC lost at Western Carolina two weeks ago on a last-second whistle and free throw.
"It is surprising that we got blown out twice," junior guard Ricky Taylor said after Wednesday's game. "Tonight we did not have it. I don't know what happened.
"It was a major disappointment."
And a record-setting loss, too.
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...
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