The Mocs outshot the Cougars and won. Amazing. I never saw the Mocs being able to allow the Cougars to score 88 points and win. The Mocs did that. They fell behind big early (down 11-1, and eventually behind 11) and then came back to take the lead by seven, 53-46, at halftime.
This was impossible. There was no way the Mocs could win this game. No way they should win this game.
But they did.
This night feels almost too good to be real. Omar Wattad poured home 27 points, Ricky Taylor had 16, DeAntre Jefferson added 15, and Keegan Bell scored 12. Jeremy Saffore and Chris Early had eight apiece. Keegan Bell lead the team in assists with eight, and also had eight boards. Wattad had six boards, while Jefferson and Taylor had five rebounds.
The Mocs were a perfect six for six from the free throw line. They shot 19 of 22 from the free throw line, and wound up 86.4% from the line for the night. They shot 53.4% from the field, and 45.5% from three point range. The Mocs outrebounded the Cougars a lot, and they turned the ball over just fourteen times, despite the pace the game was played at.
Andrew Goudelock scored 26 points. He is a dominant player. He scored 14 in the first half of the first half, but couldn't ever get going again. Jeremy Simmons scored 14 and had twelve rebounds.
Here's the deal on the game. The Mocs may not be able to win like that again against the Cougars in March. But the Mocs needed to prove to themselves and the conference that they could play with the Cougars- and they did that. Beyond any reasonable doubt- they did that. The Mocs beat them- not the way Morehead State did, by seeing the Cougars just miss shot after shot, but by making shot after shot themselves.
Jefferson played great. Burroughs brings a ton of energy to the game. Early does too, and is starting to play smarter basketball. Saffore was good tonight. When those guys play the way they are capable of, I'll take them against any other group of bigs in the SoCon.
Wattad has proven that he belongs among the elite in the SoCon, and Bell is proving that he is as good of a true point guard as there is in this conference. Ricky Taylor is developing into one of my favorite players. And Troy Cage has the talent to explode at any moment.
There is a lot to like about this team.
There is certainly more to like about this team than this time two weeks ago when the Mocs were coming off a 32 point loss to Austin Peay. Four conference wins in a row, and suddenly the Mocs are on top of the world.
This team is pretty well validated at this point.
Two huge games left this week. I said two wins this week would send me through the roof about this team.
I may have been wrong- it may only have taken one.