Keydets Head to Chattanooga for League Opener
Courtesy: SportsPhotoGuy.com for VMI

LEXINGTON, Va. - VMI basketball continues the month of December with the third contest of a four-game road swing pitting the Keydets against the Chattanooga Mocs at McKenzie Arena. It will be the SoCon opener for VMI and the first of two road league games scheduled in December. Tip-off is slated for Sunday at 1 p.m. in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Last Time Out: No. 15 Virginia Tech 89, VMI 68 - Wednesday, Dec. 5

Facing a nationally ranked squad in a midweek matchup, the VMI basketball team fell by an 89-68 score to No. 15 Virginia Tech Wednesday night at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Virginia.The Keydets (5-5) struggled to keep pace with the Hokies as Virginia Tech raced to a dominant 42-21 lead by the half. The Keydets battled courageously in the second half to claw back into the game, matching VT’s 47 second-half points, but could not find consistent rhythm as the Hokies cruised to the win. Virginia Tech took advantage of 15 VMI turnovers that led to 26 points for the Hokies. VMI was led by junior Garrett Gilkeson, who scored a career-best 21 points on 7-12 shooting from the field and went 6-7 from the charity stripe for his total. Sarju Patel again had a strong game finishing with a career-high 13 points on the night while Bubba Parham also scored in double figures with 12. The Hokies were paced by Justin Robinson’s 18 points and Nickeil Alexander-Walker poured in 15. Isaiah Wilkins (13) and P.J. Horne (12) also scored in double figures for Virginia Tech.

Last Meeting with Chattanooga: February 25, 2018

With tournament seeding on the line, the VMI basketball team hung on to earn a 68-65 win over visiting Chattanooga on Senior Day at Cameron Hall. With VMI up 66-65 with under a minute to play, senior Fred Iruafemi came up with two crucial offensive rebounds to allow the Keydets to maintain possession and milk the clock to end the Mocs’ furious comeback effort. The Keydets led 37-24 at the half and built a comfortable 16-point lead with 14 minutes left in regulation, but the Mocs gradually chipped at the lead and nearly completed the comeback as the Keydets went cold from the field and surrendered a few turnovers. VMI finished the game with 28 points in the paint to UTC’s 18 and logged 24 points off turnovers to the Mocs’ 10. The Keydets also had 15 second-chance points to help secure the victory. Freshman Bubba Parham led the Keydets with 16 points on the day on 5-11 shooting including two treys and four free throws. Iruafemi turned in 12 points in his final game at Cameron Hall while junior Austin Vereen had 11 points as the third Keydet in double digits. Nat Dixon and Makinde London finished with 16 points apiece for the Mocs.

A win over Chattanooga would ...

-- Be VMI’s first third straight win at Chattanooga and fourth overall in the last five meetings.

-- Give VMI its first SoCon win in a road opener since 2014-15.

SERIES HISTORY – VMI vs. Chattanooga

This will be the 57th meeting between the teams that first met in 1978. Chattanooga leads the overall series, 42-14, but the Keydets have taken three of the past four matchups including a season sweep last year (70-69 at Chattanooga, 68-65 in Lexington).