Appalachian State (7-8) at Chattanooga (7-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 17, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McKenzie Arena (4,000) -- Chattanooga, Tennessee. Television: None. Home Record: Appalachian State 5-2. Chattanooga 4-6. Away Record: Appalachian State 2-6, Chattanooga 3-4. Neutral Record: Appalachian State 0-0, Chattanooga 0-0. Conference Record: Appalachian State 3-1, Chattanooga 2-2. Series Record: Chattanooga leads, 42-30.
GAMES NOTES: The Appalachian State Mountaineers will attempt to keep rolling when they land in McKenzie Arena for a Southern Conference battle on Thursday night to battle the Chattanooga Mocs.
With an 83-70 victory on Monday over UNC Greensboro, Appalachian State has now won five straight contests and has begun to make a move back to .500 on the season. The Mountaineers are now 7-8 overall while, earning wins in three of their four contests against league foes. If the Mountaineers hope to continue their winning streak they will need to improve their efforts on the road where they are 2-6 this season. Appalachian State faces Samford in an away contest on Saturday in its third game in six days.
The Mocs split their four-game road trip before this contest with the most recent decision an 86-59 rout at the hands of the College of Charleston. Chattanooga is 7-10 overall and has also split its four conference games of the season. Chattanooga isn't exactly dominant at home where the Mocs have earned four wins in 10 tries at McKenzie Arena. This is the first half of a two-game homestand for the Mocs who will face Western Carolina before hitting the road for three straight.
Last season these teams split the season series with the home team victorious each time. In fact the host has won 11 straight in the series.
After a slow first half against UNC Greensboro, Appalachian State erupted for 51 points in the final 20 minutes to coast to victory. The Mountaineers hit 62.5 percent of their field goal attempts in the second half and had a 28-18 edge in points from the free-throw line for the game. Appalachian State also outscored the Spartans 24-6, in points off turnovers.
The Mountaineers are the second-highest scoring team in the SoCon this season, averaging 72.3 points per game. Of the five players scoring in double figures for Appalachian State, Jay Canty (15.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg) is the top option, ranking fifth in the conference in scoring. Nathan Healy (14.3 ppg, 6.9 rpg) is the top rebounder, while Tevin Baskin (10.3 ppg) and Tabarris Hamilton (10.2 ppg) have added offensive punch. Michael Neal (10.6 ppg, 3.6 apg) has brought consistency at the point after missing the first eight games of the season.
Chattanooga's poor offensive showing against Charleston doomed the Mocs. The team shot just 35 percent from the floor in the game, while allowing the Cougars to hit an even 50 percent of their shots. The Mocs were also on the short end of a 46-32 difference in rebounds.
The Mocs cannot claim the same type of offensive success that Appalachian State has enjoyed. Chattanooga is scoring 66.9 points per game while shooting at just a 41 percent clip from the floor. In the loss to Charleston the Mocs deficit on the boards went against their average production as they are the top rebounding team in the conference (38.1 pg). On the defensive side of the ball Chattanooga is letting up 69.4 points per game while teams shoot at a 43.9 percent clip. Zaccheus Mason (13.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg) is the only player on the roster scoring in double figures. Mason had scored in double figures in a season-long streak of five straight games before a 6-point effort against Charleston when he hit just 3-of-14 shots from the field. Gee McGhee (9.6 ppg) and Ronrico White (9.4 ppg) have struggled with efficiency, adding limited scoring depth.
Appalachian State has been picking up steam recently and although the Mountaineers have struggled on the road the balance they have on offense should carry them over the Mocs.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Appalachian State 73, Chattanooga 65
01/17 10:38:12 ET