GAMES NOTES: In a Southern Conference rematch the Samford Bulldogs will tangle with the Chattanooga Mocs at McKenzie Arena on Monday night.
When these teams met on Jan. 5, Chattanooga pulled out a 74-70 victory on the road. The win was the fourth in the last five meetings for the Mocs who lead the all-time series, 50-36.
After dropping four straight contests the Bulldogs finally got back into the win column on Saturday with a 79-67 decision over The Citadel. Samford is just 8-16 overall and the losing streak sank it down the SoCon standings as the Bulldogs are 6-5 in league play. Samford has just three road wins in 12 tries this season but will be back on its home floor on the next time out against Wofford.
This is the third game of a four-contest homestand for Chattanooga which split the first two tilts after a 71-68 loss to the College of Charleston. The setback was the fifth in the last six games for the Mocs, who are just 9-15 overall. The Mocs are 4-7 in league action and 6-8 at home. Chattanooga will host Furman in the last leg of this homestand.
Led by 19 points from Tyler Hood, Samford had four players in double figures en route to its victory over The Citadel. The Bulldogs shot 65.9 percent from the field in the contest, including a 7-of-17 effort from beyond the arc to overcome a 24-17 deficit in points off turnovers.
The 79 points Samford posted against The Citadel was an offensive eruption by Samford's standards. The Bulldogs are the second lowest scoring team in the conference (61.9 ppg) despite shooting the fourth best percentage from the field (.444). Samford is not making life any easier for itself by letting up 68.8 points per game on 46.2 percent shooting, while ranking at the bottom of the confrence in rebounds (27.9 pg). Tim Williams (14.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and Raijon Kelly (14.3 ppg, 4.5 apg) are the two best options for the Bulldogs. Williams is the only player on the team that has crashed the boards well while Kelly is the second best passer in the conference in terms of assists. Clide Geffrard Jr. (10.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg) is an additional double-figure scorer for the Bulldogs.
Even though Z. Mason poured in a game-high 27 points and Gee McGhee knocked in 20 the Mocs still came up short against Charleston. The Mocs had a 63-62 lead with just over five minutes to play but the Cougars scored the next six points and the Mocs hit just 1-of-8 from the floor down the stretch.
Mason (14.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and McGhee (11.6 ppg) are the Mocs' counterparts to Williams and Kelly on the Stamford side. Mason is the fourth best rebounder in the conference and among its top 10 scorers as well. McGhee is shooting under 40 percent from the field this season. Ronrico White (9.9 ppg) shoots just 32.1 percent from the field which has kept him from being a more productive offensive threat. Chattanooga is scoring just 68.9 ppg isn't a very efficient team, shooting just 41.2 percent from the floor. Chattanooga is actually the best rebounding team in the SoCon (37.8 ppg), but allows 71.9 points per game on 44.8 percent shooting.
Finding consistent offensive success has eluded Samford and that's not likely to change on the road. Expect the Mocs to ride Mason and McGhee to a win.