Chattanooga’s David Jean-Baptiste hit a buzzer-beater from deep behind the 3-point line on Monday night to lift the Mocs to a 64-63 overtime win over Furman in the SoCon Tournament title game. Just seconds earlier, the Paladins had surged ahead on a Mike Bothwell layup. Jean-Baptiste promptly took the in-bounds pass, dribbled past half-court and launched his shot over a double team.
It hit nothing but net, triggering a chaotic celebration inside Harrah’s Cherokee Center in Asheville, North Carolina. The victory sends Chattanooga back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016 and caps a remarkable journey for the program during Jean-Baptiste’s career.
The sixth-year senior’s first season on campus came in the 2016-17 season under former coach Matt McCall. When McCall left for UMass in 2017, Wisconsin assistant Lamont Paris took over but had to rebuild the roster. After winning just 22 combined games in his first two seasons, Paris has returned the Mocs to prominence in the SoCon with Jean-Baptiste along for every step of the ride.
The Moccasins were the top seed in the conference tournament, but edging a No. 2 seed Furman team seeking its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1980 for a third time this season was not easy. The Paladins led 26-16 at halftime after Jean-Baptiste started 1 for 10 from the floor. But the veteran finished with 13 points and came through when it mattered most.