Coming off their close and disappointing loss to ETSU, Chattanooga captured a season sweep of Samford with a 92-84 road win in the Hanna Center.
UTC needed someone to step up in order to gain momentum for their ETSU and Wofford games. Matt Ryan was that someone. The graduate school student from Cortlandt Manor, N.Y., native had a career high 28 points and went 9 for 9 from the free throw line.
The game was a consistent “anything you can do I can do better” type of match as both teams went back and forth from 3-point range. Towards the end of the half, the game was tied, but Matt Ryan’s career day propelled UTC to get and maintain a steady lead.
The basket seemed a bit bigger as UTC had 26 assists on 30 field goals made, something head coach Lamont Paris likes to see.
“That’s unbelievable, that doesn’t happen often,” Paris said. “They played zone, so you won’t create as much off the dribble by yourself, allowing for more assists. You rip the gap, and most of the time, you’ll drop it down or kick it to a shooter. That’s just how it goes against a zone. When we have a high assist-to-made-basket ratio, it’s a testament to us making shots and the unselfishness of this team.”
Josh Sharkey of Samford was a persistent area of concern for UTC has he put up 35 points. That is the second most against Chattanooga this season.
The Mocs jumped out to a 9-point lead out of halftime and maintained a narrow lead for the duration of the second half resulting in a 92-84 SoCon road win.
Chattanooga needed a momentum change following last week’s loss. Matt Ryan understood that better than anybody against Samford.
“Everyone in this league is beatable on any given night,” Ryan said. “We’re excited to be at home this weekend and next week. We just have to improve our defense. We were able to just hold on tonight.”
The true test comes next week for the Mocs has their host in-state rival ETSU at McKenzie arena on February 5th and 7PM.