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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Benjamin Johnson Arena (3,500) -- Spartanburg, South Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: UTC 8-8, Wofford 7-3. Away Record: UTC 3-7, Wofford 2-14. Neutral Record: UTC 0-0, Wofford 1-0. Conference Record: UTC 6-7, Wofford 4-10. Series Record: UTC leads, 16-11.
GAMES NOTES: Two teams in the bottom half of the Southern Conference will settle their differences on Saturday when the Chattanooga Mocs square off with the Wofford Terriers at Benjamin Johnson Arena.
In its final contest of a four-game homestand on Thursday, Chattanooga rode to its biggest win of the season as it routed Furman, 83-49. The win was the third in the last four games for the Mocs who are suddenly riding a wave of momentum after a four-game losing streak. The Mocs are still just 11-15 overall and 6-7 in conference action.
Offense was nowhere to be found in Birmingham on Thursday night as Wofford fell in a 40-33 decision to Samford. The setback was the second straight for the Terriers after they had earned back-to-back wins for the first time since early December. Wofford has been even worse than Chattanooga overall at 10-17 including a 4-10 mark in league play that has the Terriers ahead of just two other teams in the league.
This is the first and only scheduled meeting between these two teams this season. Chattanooga won last season's bout, 51-48. The victory ended a three- game winning streak for Wofford which trails the all-time series, 16-11.
Chattanooga forced 20 turnovers, hit eight shots from beyond the arc and shot 44.2 percent from the field in its win over Furman. The Mocs beat up on the Paladins on the inside with a 48-26 advantage on points in the paint to go with a 48-32 rebounding edge.
Even though the Mocs rolled up a big offensive game against Furman, leading scorer Zaccheus Mason (14.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg) struggled, scoring only five points on 2-of-10 shooting, though he did bring in nine rebounds. Mason has failed to score in double figures in the two games since he scored a season-high 27 points against the College of Charleston. Gee McGhee (11.9 ppg) is the only other player scoring in double figures although Ronrico White (9.8 ppg) has shown an ability to put points on the board. As a team Chattanooga leads the conference in rebounding (38.4 pg) but is ranked second to last in field goal percentage (.414), while scoring a middling 69.2 points per game.
En route to its lowest scoring effort since 1996, Wofford collected just 13 total field goals and shot 27.1 percent from the field against Samford. The Terriers also hit only 2-of-15 shots from 3-point range, while having 17 turnovers to just nine assists.
Even for Wofford the 33 points it managed was quite low. Still Wofford is scoring a conference low 57.9 points per game while also shooting the worst percentage from the floor in the conference(.388). Each of those marks is among the 25 worst in the country as well. Wofford still has just a -1.7 scoring by limiting its opponents to just 59.6 points per game. Karl Cochran (15.2 ppg) is the leading scorer on the team while fitting in third in the SoCon in points per game. Cochran had just eight points on 3-of-14 shooting against Samford as he had a streak of five games in double figures snapped. Spencer Collins (12.8 ppg) is a complimentary scorer in the backcourt while Lee Skinner (10.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg) handles things up front.
Wofford has been surprisingly tough to handle on its home floor (7-3) where its grinding tempo has allowed it to slow teams down offensively. If the Terriers can keep that type of success up they could very well get back in the win column.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wofford 60, Chattanooga 57
02/16 10:31:29 ET
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