Chattanooga’s Dontay Hampton rebounded an ASU miss and drove the length of the court to sink a layup with 0.8 seconds remaining and top Appalachian State University men’s basketball,
65-63, on Saturday night at McKenzie Arena.
The Mountaineers (6-8, 2-2 SoCon) broke open a tight game with a 16-3 run early in the second half and took a solid 52-40 lead with 13 minutes to play. Tab Hamilton (Winston-Salem, N.C./Fishburne Military) sank four of his six three-pointers during the stretch to pace the ASU attack.
UTC then chipped away at its deficit and cut the score to as few as two points with just over two minutes to play. Appalachian extended the advantage back to five points behind a three-point play from Omar Carter (Charlotte, N.C./Charleston Southern) before the Mocs (8-9, 2-2) rallied to tie the game with a three-pointer and then a pair of free throws with 38 seconds left.
On its final possession, Appalachian worked the shot clock down before a three-point attempt missed the mark and fell to Hampton for the game-ending sequence.
Hamilton led the Apps with a career-best 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting to accompany two steals and an assist. His previous best scoring output was 12 points, set in Thursday’s win at Samford.
Carter added 19 points on 8-of-20 shooting, including a three-pointer. He led ASU with seven rebounds and five assists.
Mike Neal (Greensboro, N.C./Oak Ridge Military) added eight points, five rebounds and three assists.
Neither team led by more than four points in the back-and-forth first half. ASU took a 34-33 edge into the locker room at the intermission on the strength of 10 points from Hamilton and eight from Neal.
The Mountaineers sank 14-of-29 shots in the opening period before slumping to sink just 11-of-33 after the break for a 40.3 shooting percentage on the night, compared to 43.4 percent for the home team.
ASU sank nine of its 26 three-point attempts and held the Mocs to just 3-of-15 from downtown. UTC owned a 39-37 edge on the glass, paced by Jahmal Burroughs’ eight boards.
Ricky Taylor led Chattanooga with 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting and a pair of three-pointers. Keegan Bell dished out seven of UTC’s 13 assists to balance out a 1-of-13 shooting night. UTC owned a 25-9 lead in free throw attempts and converted 16 of them, for 64 percent. ASU was just 4-of-9 at the stripe.
The Mountaineers return home to host Furman on Thursday. The 7 p.m. contest will be broadcast on ESPN3.
NOTES: Saturday marked the 10th straight win by the home team in the series, dating back to 2006-07 ... ASU dressed out 10 players for the game, as Brian Okam returned from illness, but did not see any action ... Hamilton’s six three-pointers were the most by a Mountaineer this season, and the most since Donald Sims sank six against College of Charleston on Feb. 24, 2011.
CHATTANOOGA 65, ASU 63
Score by periods 1st 2nd Total
Appalachian State....................34 29 63
Chattanooga................................33 32 65
ASU: CARTER 19 (7 REBOUNDS), HAMILTON 22 (6-3 POINTERS), WILLIAMSON 5 (6 REBOUNDS), TRICE 7, NEAL 8 (5 REBOUNDS), VILARINO 2. FG: 25-62, 3FG: 9-26, FT: 4-9. 37 REBOUNDS, 9 TURNOVERS, 11 ASSISTS.
CHATTANOOGA: STOKES 4, ZLOVARIC 11 (7 REBOUNDS), BURROUGHS 11 (8 REBOUNDS), BELL 3 (7 ASSISTS), TAYLOR 19, HAMPTON 6 (7 REBOUNDS), WHITE 2, MASON 7 (6 REBOUNDS), BRYANT 2. FG: 23-53, 3FG: 3-15, FT: 16-25. 39 REBOUNDS, 8 TURNOVERS, 13 ASSISTS.
Photo Courtesy: Tab Hamilton, by Dave Mayo, ASU Athletics