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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, December 28, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McKenzie Arena (11,218) -- Chattanooga, Tennessee. Television: None. Home Record: High Point 3-3, Chattanooga 2-6. Away Record: High Point 1-3, Chattanooga 1-2. Neutral Record: High Point 0-0, Chattanooga 0-0. Conference Record: High Point 0-0, Chattanooga 0-1. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAMES NOTES: In the second game of the Dr. Pepper Challenge, host Chattanooga will face off with the High Point Panthers at McKenzie Arena on Friday night.
High Point comes into the two-day event riding a three-game losing streak after being dropped 73-70 by Eastern Kentucky at home last Friday. With the loss, High Point has lost five of its last six games to stand at 4-6 overall. The Panthers are just 1-3 in four road games this season.
Chattanooga put a stop to a four-game losing streak last time out but that win came against Division II foe Reinhardt. Still the Mocs took care of business with a 108-78 triumph. Chattanooga is just 3-8 this season, despite playing eight of its first 11 games at home.
The winner of this game will take on the victor of the Utah Valley/Austin Peay matchup that will be held earlier on Friday.
Before Friday these teams had never been paired up on a basketball court.
In a game that featured nine ties and eight lead changes High Point was just unable to get over the hump against Eastern Kentucky. The Panthers connected on just 37.9 percent of their field goal attempts and were outscored from 3 point range (21-15) and from the free throw line (22-15). John Brown posted a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double in the losing effort.
Despite its losing record, High Point actually has a rather sizable scoring advantage this season. The Panthers have outscored opponents by an average of 6.7 points per game by putting in 72.9 points per game. The Panthers also hold an edge on the boards (+3.3) and have assisted on the second most field goals per game (14.0 pg) in the Big South Conference. Brown (18.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg) has made a habit of scoring in bunches by finishing well close to the basket, as he shoots at a 51.9 percent clip. Brown also protects the rim (2.1 bpg) on the other end. Allan Chaney (13.8 ppg, 8.1 rpg) also shoots better than 50 percent from the field and is the top rebounder.
The Mocs had little trouble with Reinhardt as they shot 56.8 percent from the field in the game and held a massive 56-26 edge in rebounds. The Mocs did struggle from beyond the arc (3-of-13), while allowing Reinhardt to put in 12 triples. Drazen Zlovaric and Martynas Bareika each scored a game-high 20 points in the victory.
There are normally not a long list of prolific scorers on the stat sheet for Chattanooga. Zaccheus Mason (12.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg) is the top offensive threat and rebounder as well as one of just two players to be scoring in double figures. Gee McGhee (10.0 ppg) is the other. Zlovaric (9.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and Ronrico White (8.7 ppg) are the only other players scoring more than six points a game. Led by Mason, the Mocs are the best rebounding team in the Southern Conference (40.5 pg) but score only 66.5 points per game on 40.4 percent shooting.
Playing at home has not paid many dividends for Chattanooga this season and although High Point has a losing record, the Panthers have played well enough on both ends of the floor to steal a road win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: High Point 66, Chattanooga 61
12/28 10:32:42 ET
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