GAME NOTES: The Chattanooga Mocs shoot for just their second true road win of the season, as they challenge the Bulldogs of The Citadel in Southern Conference action at McAlister Field House on Monday night.
Up until Saturday, the Mocs had not won on an opponent's home floor, coming up empty in six chances, but that all changed when the team dropped Furman in a 72-63 final. The victory was the third straight for a team that had won a total of just four times in the previous 12 outings.
As for the Bulldogs, they have a grand total of four victories coming into the week, and only one of those has come against another Division I opponent (Presbyterian). Since taking down the Brevard Tornados (79-68) on Dec. 18, the team has dropped three consecutive tests, the most recent being a 76-59 decision versus Radford last Thursday on the road.
The Mocs lead the all-time series by a count of 56-16, dating back to the very first encounter in 1926. Chattanooga swept the season series in 2012-13, giving the team three wins in the last four meetings.
Against the Paladins at Timmons Arena on Saturday, the Mocs shot only 38.2 percent from the floor and 6-of-21 (.286) behind the 3-point line, yet somehow the visitors still came out on top. Z. Mason had a monster game for Chattanooga as he registered a double-double consisting of 20 points and 13 rebounds, adding six blocked shots for good measure. Casey Jones had a double- double of his own with 13 points and 13 boards, handing out eight assists along the way. Ronrico White and Gee McGhee accounted for 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Despite missing a couple of games, Mason continues to lead the Mocs in both scoring (18.2 ppg) and rebounding (8.8 rpg) by a wide margin, logging 31 of the program's 65 rejections as well. However, Mason does have his flaws, from having handed out a mere eight assists against 29 turnovers, as well as shooting just 55.6 percent at the free-throw line. McGhee (11.3 ppg) and Jones (10.4 ppg) pick up some of the slack with a combined 81 assists.
The Bulldogs finished with almost as many turnovers (16) as field goals (18) in the loss at Radford last week. The visitors shot only 38.3 percent from the floor and a meager 2-of-11 (.182) behind the 3-point line, as Matt Van Scyoc led the way with 17 points, thanks in large part to his perfect 9-of-9 effort at the free-throw line. Quinton Marshall chipped in with 10 points.
On a team that is scoring a modest 69.4 ppg, but giving up 75.5 ppg, Van Scyoc and Brian White are the only two double-digit scorers with 14.2 and 14.0 ppg, respectively. Shooting just 39.5 percent from the floor, Van Scyoc paces the program with his 28 3-point baskets and is also an outstanding 89.0 percent accurate at the free-throw line where the team as a whole sits at 73.8 percent.
Even though The Citadel is at home, very little has gone right for the team so far this season and the Bulldogs have yet to prove that they truly belong on the same floor as so many of their D-I foes
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