GAMES NOTES: The Georgia Southern Eagles will kick off a three-game homestand with a Southern Conference brawl with the Chattanooga Mocs at Hanner Fieldhouse on Saturday night.
This game will end a three-game road trip for the Mocs who were taken down by Elon (85-61) and UNC Greensboro (77-69) in the first two contests. The Mocs have now lost three straight games and have fallen to 8-13 on the season and 3-5 in league play. Including the last two losses the Mocs are 3-6 on the road but they will play six of their next seven at home beginning against the Citadel next Thursday.
An 81-74 loss to Furman on Thursday ended a three-game road trip for the Eagles. Georgia Southern has lost three of its last four contests and are just a win better than the Mocs overall (9-13). In conference play the Eagles are trailing Chattanooga by a half game with a mark of 3-6. At home the Eagles have battled to a 5-3 record. They host Appalachian State next.
This is the first meeting of the season between these teams. They also met in the SoCon Tournament last year when Georgia Southern advanced with a 76-70 win. It was the third straight victory for the Eagles who still trail the all- time series, 30-18.
The Mocs were just unable to keep UNC Greensboro from getting its shots to fall from beyond the arc. Chattanooga allowed the Spartans to knock down 11- of-29 shots from 3-point range in the contest including a 10-of-20 effort in the first half that had the Spartans leading by 10 points at halftime.
Offensive efficiency has eluded Chattanooga this season. The Mocs are the second worst shooting team in the SoCon putting in just a shade over 40 percent of their shots from the field (.406). The Mocs have managed to clean up the boards though as they lead the league in that category (38.5 pg). On defense the Mocs let up 72.3 points per game on 44.6 percent shooting. Zaccheus Mason (14.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg) has been the most important contributor this season. Gee McGhee (10.4 ppg) and Ronrico White (9.9 ppg) have shown some ability on offense.
Georgia Southern trailed by 15 points in its most recent setback to Furman and just couldn't get over the hump in the second half. The Eagles allowed the Paladins to shoot 64.3 percent from the field in the contest, while being outscored 36-15 from 3-point range.
Though they may shoot better than Chattanooga (.431 FG percentage), the Eagles have been a poor offensive squad overall. Georgia Southern is scoring just 61.2 points per game and passing out the fewest assists in the conference (6.2 apg). However unlike the Mocs the Eagles have managed to put up more resistance on the offensive end allowing just 64.4 points per game. Also dissimilar to the Mocs is the Eagles efforts on the boards (31 pg) as they rank second to last in that category among SoCon squads. Eric Ferguson (14.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg) will be matched up with Mason as one of three scorers in double figures for The Eagles. C.J. Reed (12.1 ppg, 3.8 apg) is coming off a 20-point effort and Tre Bussey has been known to score but both fail to shoot better than 40 percent from the field.
The ability that Georgia Southern has shown in getting stops more consistently will be important in this contest. If the Eagles can get in a rhythm on the offensive end they may be able to start this homestand off on the right foot.