The Citadel (6-15) at Chattanooga (8-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 7, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McKenzie Arena (4,000) -- Chattanooga, Tennessee. Television: None. Home Record: Citadel 4-7, UTC 5-7. Away Record: Citadel 2-8, UTC 3-7. Neutral Record: Citadel 0-0, UTC 0-0. Conference Record: Citadel 3-8, UTC 3-6. Series Record: UTC leads, 55-16.
GAME NOTES: Seeking a rare third win in a row, the Citadel Bulldogs head to McKenzie Arena to take on the Chattanooga Mocs in a Southern Conference tussle.
Citadel has struggled throughout most of the season, but the team has won two straight and three of its last five, including Saturday's 84-79 triumph at Furman. Tonight's contest is the second stop in a three-game road trip for the Bulldogs, who are looking to notch back-to-back road wins for the first time since January of the 2010-11 season. They'll conclude the current trip at Samford this Saturday.
These teams met at McAlister Field House on Jan. 10, where Chattanooga rallied for a 70-65 win as Z. Mason and Dontay Hampton combined for 15 of the team's final 17 points. The Mocs hold a commanding 55-16 lead in the all-time series, although the last five meetings have been decided by an average margin of only 3.6 points.
While Citadel has picked up steam since that first head-to-head matchup, UTC has dropped four straight and five of its last six contests. Most recently, the Mocs were on the wrong end of a 59-57 heartbreaker at Georgia Southern this past Saturday. Tonight's contest is the Mocs' first at McKenzie Arena since Jan. 19, and begins a four-game homestand.
After shooting just 38.5 percent from the floor in the first half against Furman, Citadel was a sizzling 74.1 percent (20-of-27) from the floor in the second half to rally all the way back from an 18-point deficit and complete its second-biggest comeback in school history. P.J. Horgan was a catalyst behind the rally, as 17 of his career-high 23 points came after halftime. The Bulldogs' 60 second-half points were their third-most ever against a SoCon opponent. Mike Groselle added 19 points to go along with seven rebounds and six assists, as all five starters scored in double figures. Marshall Harris, III (11 pts) doled out seven assists, marking his third straight game with seven or more helpers. On the season, Groselle leads the team with 15.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per tilt, and he is also shooting a team-best 58.1 percent from the floor. Matt Van Scyoc is second on the team with 11.7 ppg and is shooting at a 38.4-percent clip from the perimeter (43-of-112).
Mason headlines the Mocs' roster with a team-high 14.3 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. Gee McGhee is also averaging double figures with 10.8 ppg. Hampton (9.8 ppg), who torched Citadel late in the first meeting, has been limited to only five games this season with a knee injury and is considered questionable for today's contest. When on the floor, Hampton demands attention along the perimeter, where he has knocked down 10-of-20 threes. However, he was not available against Georgia Southern last weekend, and that contest was decided when the Eagles' Eric Ferguson buried the go-ahead 3-pointer with 13 seconds remaining. UTC shot a dismal 37 percent for the game, including a 1-of-13 effort from beyond the arc. McGhee tallied a game-high 19 points in the loss, while Mason finished with 14 points and seven rebounds, and Drazen Zlovaric scored 10 and pulled down 10 boards.
Ever since the first meeting between these two teams, the Bulldogs have played a much better brand of basketball, culminating in that 20-of-27 effort from the floor in the second half against Furman. It will be interesting to see if the Bulldogs can pick up where they left off and notch back-to-back road victories.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: The Citadel 69, Chattanooga 66
02/07 10:39:35 ET