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Furman (7-13) at Chattanooga (14-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 1, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McKenzie Arena (10,928) -- Chattanooga, Tennessee. Television: None. Home Record: Furman 4-5, Chattanooga 9-1. Away Record: Furman 3-8, Chattanooga 4-7. Neutral Record: Furman 0-0, Chattanooga 1-1. Conference Record: Furman 1-6, Chattanooga 8-1. Series Record: Chattanooga leads, 49-25.
GAME NOTES: After having their 10-game winning streak broken earlier this week, the Chattanooga Mocs try to bounce back when they host the struggling Furman Paladins in Southern Conference play.
The Mocs were crushed 94-51 at Davidson on Thursday night. Casey Jones netted 20 points to go with eight rebounds for Chattanooga, which at 8-1 to open SoCon play is its best conference start since a 9-1 beginning in 1996-97.
Chattanooga, which is the second-highest scoring team in the SoCon at 77.3 ppg, has history on its side when facing the Paladins. On Jan. 4 at Furman, Z. Mason had a 20-point, 13-rebound performance in a 72-63 win for the Mocs. Jones contributed a double-double with 13 points and 13 boards.
Mason (18.2 ppg) leads the Southern Conference in rebounding (9.3) and blocks (3.0). He's one point shy of 1,000 in his two-plus years as a member of Chattanooga's team. What's been driving the success of the Mocs has also been the performance of junior guard Ronrico White, who has just six turnovers in his last 211 minutes at the point guard position. White (11.7 ppg), who missed the season's opening nine games due to a hip injury, is shooting 42.6 percent from 3-point range. Jones (12.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and Gee McGhee (10.0 ppg) along with Martynas Bareika are part of a starting lineup that has gone 11-1. The other two players in the projected lineup are forward Martynas Bareika (9.3 ppg) and freshman guard Greg Pryor (6.6 ppg).
Furman has lost six of its last seven contests, but hasn't played since last Saturday's 76-52 home defeat to Wofford. Stephen Croone led the Paladins with 15 points. Charlie Reddick added 12 points and seven rebounds, and Kendrec Ferrara rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points in the loss. The Paladins were supposed to play Samford on Thursday at Timmons Arena, but that game was postponed to Monday due to severe road conditions created by a winter storm.
Ferrara (10.9 ppg) has been playing well during conference play. The 6-foot-9 sophomore has tallied 17.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots during SoCon play while shooting 61.5 percent from the floor. Croone (19.3 ppg) is second in the conference in scoring. Larry Wideman (10.7 ppg) is part of the starting lineup, while freshman William Gates Jr. has averaged 8.8 points while ranking second in the SoCon by connecting on 45.7 percent of his 3-point attempts.
What the Mocs need to work on is their perimeter defense. They're allowing teams to shoot 47.2 percent from the field, the worst mark defensively in the SoCon. Also, it doesn't help that the Mocs are making only 33 percent from 3- point range. Mason though, makes up for the shortcomings on the perimeter and should dominate the paint in this contest and provide Chattanooga with a comfortable victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Chattanooga 82, Furman 66
02/01 10:13:45 ET
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