Samford (6-11) at Chattanooga (8-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 9, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McKenzie Arena (10,928) -- Chattanooga, Tennessee. Television: None. Home Record: Samford 5-2, Chattanooga 5-1. Away Record: Samford 1-9, Chattanooga 2-6. Neutral Record: Samford 0-0, Chattanooga 1-1. Conference Record: Samford 0-2, Chattanooga 2-0. Series Record: Chattanooga leads, 51-36.
GAME NOTES: Chattanooga opened its Southern Conference schedule with two straight road victories, and the team will get its home slate started on Thursday night against the struggling Samford Bulldogs.
The Mocs wrapped up a successful road swing with wins over Furman and The Citadel for the program's first road sweep since the 2007-08 campaign. They have won four straight overall, and are looking for their first five-game win streak in four years.
Zaccheus Mason has been the driving force in the recent upswing, as he recorded his fifth straight double-double in Monday's 82-78 victory over The Citadel by logging a monster 30-point, 14-rebound performance.
Casey Jones made the go-ahead jumper in the final minute of the win and finished with 14 points, while Ronrico White continued his comeback from a hip injury with 13 points off the bench.
Mason leads the Mocs in scoring (19.1 ppg), rebounding (9.1 rpg) and blocks (34), while Gee McGhee and Jones chip in with 11.1 and 10.6 ppg, respectively.
Samford has dropped both of its league tests so far, the latest coming in a hard-fought 80-78 verdict against Georgia Southern.
All five starters scored in double figures, led by Tim Williams' 23 points, but the Bulldogs did not get much production from the bench, which accounted for a measly five points. The Bulldogs were beaten on the glass (33-25), at the free-throw line (26-18), and in second-chance points (19-13).
Williams, the SoCon Player of the Month for December, ranks among the nation's leaders in field goal percentage (.624), while averaging 17.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game -- both of which pace the club.
Isaiah Williams ranks seconds in scoring at 11.8 ppg, while Raijon Kelly is the only other Bulldog in double figures at 10.4 ppg. Samford is averaging just 68.8 ppg, as opposed to giving up 76.9 ppg.
This Southern Rail Rivalry has been a little one-sided lately, with the Mocs winnings eight of the 11 meetings since the Bulldogs joined the SoCon in 2008-09. With the way Mason and Chattanooga have been playing lately, that trend should certainly continue.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Chattanooga 85, Samford 65
01/09 10:37:46 ET