GAME NOTES: The Chattanooga Mocs take aim at the season sweep of the Appalachian State Mountaineers tonight, as the two are set for a Southern Conference tilt at the Holmes Center.
Chattanooga beat Appalachian State on a last-second layup back on January 7. As a result, the Mocs lead in the all-time series climbed to 42-29.
However, that victory came on Chattanooga's home floor, and the team enters tonight winless in 12 road games this season. Overall, the Mocs have dropped eight of their last nine games to fall to the bottom of the conference's North Division. The Mocs are coming off Saturday's tough 77-76 loss to UNC Greensboro.
Appalachian State has also hit a rough patch of late, dropping four of its last five contests. The Mountaineers were also in action this past Saturday, as they fell at home to Wofford, 66-64, despite a late rally. Following this tilt, they'll stay on campus to host Winthrop on Saturday afternoon in a BracketBuster matchup.
Chattanooga's loss to UNCG was the team's third one-point setback this season in league play. Trailing by nine with 9:14 to play, the Mocs went on a 15-2 run while holding the Spartans without a field goal for nearly seven minutes to take the lead. However, UNCG rallied down the stretch to take the lead, and Chattanooga missed a contested layup and then a three-pointer on its final possession. Drazen Zlovaric scored a season-high 22 points to go along with seven rebounds in the loss, while senior Jahmal Burroughs notched his first career double-double with 10 points and 12 boards. The Mocs held a 43-35 rebounding advantage for the game and also took care of business at the foul line, converting 24-of-30 attempts (.800). However, they shot just 4-of-23 from the perimeter (.174) while the Spartans knocked down 12 threes in 25 attempts, a key factor in the outcome. On the season, Ricky Taylor leads the team with 13.2 points per game, followed by Omar Wattad with 13.4 ppg. That duo has combined to make 117 treys this season at a 39.2 percent clip. However, together they went just 2-of-10 from beyond the arc against UNCG. Zlovaric is third on the team in scoring (10.6 ppg) and first in rebounding (6.9 rpg).
Omar Carter leads Appalachian State with 12.1 ppg to go along with 6.0 rebounds, but his numbers have dropped considerably since he was benched by head coach Jason Capel a few weeks ago. In the first three games since he began coming off the bench, Carter averaged 19.7 points. But in the five games since, he has totaled a mere 26 points. With Carter becoming less and less involved on the offensive end, that leaves Jamaal Trice as the team's only other player averaging double figures with 10.3 ppg. That lack of scoring punch has plagued the Mountaineers, who are also -2.5 in turnover margin. They rallied to trim a 15-point deficit down to just one in the second half against Wofford, but were unable to complete the comeback. Carter's potential game- tying bucket rimmed out as time expired, but he was a non-factor up until that point, managing only two points on 1-of-7 shooting. He played just 17 minutes. Mike Neal led the way with 15 points, while Tab Hamilton scored 11 and Andre Williamson finished with 10 points. The Mountaineers committed only six turnovers for the game, but they were unable to overcome Wofford's 39-25 rebounding advantage.
Neither of these teams is playing a particularly crisp brand of basketball at the moment, but the Mocs have been absolutely dreadful on the road for one reason or another. Expect the Mountaineers to capitalize on Chattanooga's road woes, although this does not figure to be a high-scoring affair.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Appalachian State 63, Chattanooga 58
02/15 10:51:38 ET
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