Elon (10-9) at Chattanooga (12-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 23, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McKenzie Arena (20,562) -- Chattanooga, Tennessee. Television: None. Home Record: Elon 7-2, UTC 7-1. Away Record: Elon 3-4, UTC 4-6. Neutral Record: Elon 0-3, UTC 1-1. Conference Record: Elon 3-1, UTC 6-0. Series Record: UTC leads, 12-10.
GAME NOTES: The Elon Phoenix resume their Southern Conference schedule tonight when they pay a visit to McKenzie Arena to take on the Chattanooga Mocs.
Elon stepped out of conference play on Saturday and suffered an 84-74 home loss to 13th-ranked UMass. That outcome snapped a three-game winning streak for the Phoenix, which sits in the middle of the pack in the SoCon standings. Beginning tonight, three of the team's next four games will be played on the road.
Meanwhile, Chattanooga is 7-1 on its home floor this season and is a perfect 6-0 in league play to sit alone atop the SoCon standings. The Mocs notched their eighth consecutive victory on Saturday as they took down Wofford in Spartanburg, 71-57. They'll be on campus for three of their next four contests.
These teams split last season's home-and-home series, and Chattanooga holds a slim 12-10 lead in the all-time series.
Elon made nine 3-pointers and converted 21-of-27 free throws against UMass. However, the Phoenix shot just 34 percent from the floor and was outrebounded by a 45-32 margin for the game. Lucas Troutman led the way with 19 points in the loss, while Sebastian Koch added 18 points and Tanner Samson scored 14. On the season, Elon is putting up 77.8 ppg, while shooting a healthy 48 percent from the floor as a team, although opponents are averaging 74.3 ppg. Head coach Matt Matheny has used the same starting lineup in every game this season, and four of those starters are averaging double figures, headlined by Troutman and his team-best 16.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per tilt. Koch (13.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg), Ryley Beaumont (10.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and Samson (10.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg) round out the double-digit scorers. Koch has been among the nation's top snipers from beyond the arc, where he has made 57-of-123 threes (.463) this season.
Chattanooga boasts a solid frontcourt led by Z. Mason, who is averaging a team-high 18.6 points and 9.6 rebounds. Guard Ronrico White is next in line with an average of 12.1 points in 11 games off the bench since returning to the court after offseason hip surgery. Rounding out the Mocs' key contributors are Casey Jones, a 59-percent shooter from the floor who averages 11.4 ppg and 6.1 rpg, and fellow guard Gee McGhee, who is scoring 10.5 ppg. In last weekend's road win over Wofford, Chattanooga held the Terriers to just 33.9- percent shooting from the floor, the lowest percentage by a Division I opponent this season. The Mocs also committed just nine turnovers as they enjoyed a 16-6 edge in points off turnovers. White scored 16 off the bench to pace five Mocs in double figures, while Mason scored 12 points, pulled down 15 rebounds and blocked five shots.
The Mocs have torn through the rest of the SoCon so far in league play, and they have not lost at home in more than two months. The Phoenix may be able to keep this one close, but pulling off the win at McKenzie Arena is a tall order.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Chattanooga 76, Elon 69
01/23 10:18:58 ET