Sunday, 6 September 2009

Mocs win one, lose one on Day One in Toronto

Basketball Mocs lose to Toronto, beat York in Canada trip

If this were January or February, John Shulman may joke about jumping from his hotel window overlooking Lake Ontario.

But it's still September and the Southern Conference basketball tournament is about six months away.

So an 85-70 loss at the University of Toronto on Saturday afternoon didn't bother the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga coach too much. And an evening win, 78-71 over York University, made him feel a little better.

"It was a little bit of a shock factor playing another team with a lot of returning players," Shulman said of the first game. "That's why we're doing his trip."

The Mocs' flight to Toronto was delayed and they arrived about 1 a.m. and then played against the Blues at noon.

"We've had to face a little adversity up here, and that's good for us," Shulman said. "It's a bit of a shock, but there's a reason for doing this."

Junior forward DeAntre Jefferson led the Mocs with 16 points and 10 rebounds in 19 minutes. Ridge McKeither scored 14 points and Ricky Taylor added 10. But the Mocs shot 3-of-24 from the 3-point line.

Shulman experimented with his lineup and rotation with everybody playing and only Taylor and Keegan Bell playing more than 21 minutes.

"I thought Big D was pretty good and Ricky was pretty good," Shulman said. "Everybody else was average or worse."

The Mocs also had to adjust to a slightly different game. They played four quarters with a trapezoid lane, an eight-second backcourt rule and bonus free throws after five fouls.

UTC made a few adjustments in the afternoon and beat York in the evening matchup. Taylor led UTC with 19 points and Bell had 11 assists in the win.

The Mocs will catch a baseball game between the Yankees and Blue Jays this afternoon and play at the University of Guelph at 8.

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