published Friday, November 16th, 2012

Kansas rallies past Mocs

  • photo
    UTC guard Farad Cobb smiles after making a basket during the first half of the Mocs’ game against Kansas on Thursday.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The Mocs were not afraid of the Phog.

They led Kansas at halftime Thursday night.

But a sold-out crowd was able to chant its famous "Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk, KU," chorus in famed Phog Allen Fieldhouse when the seventh-ranked team in the country pulled away to win 69-55 over the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

"I think we took a step forward tonight as a team," UTC freshman Farad Cobb said on the postgame radio show. "I'm kind of sad we didn't come out with the win, but it was a good effort."

The Mocs played the best basketball of the two teams Thursday night -- for 22 minutes of the 40-minute game.

Kansas outscored UTC 41-19 in the second half. Ben McLemore led the Jayhawks (2-1) with 25 points, and Elijah Johnson added 18.

Cobb set a freshman record with seven 3-pointers and led UTC with 21 points. Zaccheus Mason scored 13 points and Drazen Zlovaric added 10 for the Mocs.

"We went to one of the best teams in America and didn't back down and we didn't look intimidated," coach John Shulman said on the radio. "No doubt we made some strides. I looked out there and we had three freshmen and two sophomores on the floor and we're leading by 10 at Kansas."

At Kansas, in the second half, a team picked to be a cellar-dweller of the Southern Conference led by 12 points over a team projected by many pundits to reach the Final Four.

"We fought hard and I'm proud of our guys," Mason said. "If we can keep that fight and effort, we can have a great season this year."

Cobb sent Kansas coach Bill Self into fits on the sideline during the first half. Self called for time out twice after Cobb hit 3-pointers. He buried a 26-footer as the shot clock wound down, then hit a pull-up 3 on the next possession to give UTC a 36-24 lead with 1:49 to go in the first half. KU closed the half with four straight points.

But the Mocs had secured a moral victory with its 36-28 lead at the break.

UTC led 42-30 after a 3-pointer by Mason with 18:05 to play. Then the Jayhawks reeled off a 19-1 run. Including the remnants of the run, KU forced 10 turnovers in the first 10 minutes of the second half and held UTC scoreless from the field for nearly 12 minutes.

"You can't turn the ball over for pick-sixes," Shulman said on the radio. "They got going, and when they get going they're really good."

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