Chattanooga (2-4) vs. Morehead State (5-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 28, 5 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Orleans Arena (9,500) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: None. Home Record: Chattanooga 2-1, MSU 2-0. Away Record: Chattanooga 0-3, MSU 3-2. Neutral Record: Chattanooga 0-0, MSU 0-0. Conference Record: Chattanooga 0-0, MSU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The first-ever meeting between the Chattanooga Mocs and the Morehead State Eagles takes place this evening at Orleans Arena as part of the Las Vegas Invitational.
The Eagles, who are in the midst of a 10-day road trip, have won five games in the month of November, an accomplishment that didn't occur a single time in the previous 84 campaigns for Morehead State. The team is coming off a 63-58 win over Nevada on Sunday as part of regional action in this tournament. The two setbacks for Morehead have come against top-notch competition in Xavier (79-56) and nationally-ranked UCLA (81-70), both on the road.
As for the Mocs, their only two wins of the season have come against non- Division I competition in Covenant (119-56) and Montreat (108-51). Since that latest triumph back on Nov. 16 Chattanooga has lost three in a row, including a 106-65 blowout to UCLA on Sunday at Pauley Pavilion. Two days earlier the team lost at the buzzer at Nevada, 83-81.
These two teams will be back in action on Friday as well, with the winner taking on the winner of the Gardner Webb/IUPUI battle and the losers of the two matchups also squaring off.
The Eagles got off to a slow start against Nevada over the weekend, shooting just 8-of-25 from the floor and 2-of-12 behind the 3-point line in the first half, but the team bounced back following the break in order to pull off the five-point road win. Chad Posthumus registered a double-double as the center dropped in 10 points and ripped down a game-high 16 rebounds, while Angelo Warner and Drew Kelly contributed 15 and 13 points, respectively. The squad overcame 18 turnover and held the hosts to just 34.0 percent from the floor.
Warner leads the team in scoring through seven games with his 16.0 ppg, but it could be argued that Posthumus is possibly the top player on the roster with his 11.4 ppg and massive 13.3 rpg. However, a closer look at the numbers shows that Posthumus, who has made good on 52.9 percent of his field goal attempts, is converting just 55.3 percent at the free-throw line and has yet to deliver a single assist, even while turning the ball over 15 times.
The Mocs didn't stand a chance against UCLA as the Bruins shot 57.6 percent from the field in the first half and then picked up the pace following the break with a staggering 67.6 percent accuracy, en route to the 41-point decision in Las Angeles on Sunday night. Chattanooga connected on only 35.1 percent from the field and 4-of-11 at the free-throw line, not that the latter made much of a difference. Martynas Bareika scored a team-best 17 points off the bench, followed by Z. Mason and Casey Jones with 15 and 10 points, respectively.
Except for the meeting with Radford when he was held to just seven points, Mason has scored in double figures in every outing this season. A 50.7 percent shooter from the floor who is also responsible for a team-best 7.0 rpg, Mason is producing 15.2 ppg to pace the group. However, Mason would be smart to focus more of his game inside the 3-point line instead of out on the perimeter where he has connected on a dismal 5-of-27 (.185). Gee McGhee (14.5 ppg), Greg Pryor (11.7 ppg) and Jones (10.3 ppg) are also key elements for an offense that is putting up 86.7 ppg, although that number might be a bit hollow.
Morehead State's success in the first three weeks of the season is no fluke, as the team has more than enough talent to finish off both of its opponents in Las Vegas as they celebrate Thanksgiving in a big way.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Morehead State 89, Chattanooga 71
11/28 10:31:58 ET