Saturday, January 11, 2014

Mocs 70, Terriers 69

That was a survival. I'm not sure if it should count as a win in the standings or not, but as a survival. Yes, the Mocs won, and for 39 and a half minutes, they had earned the win. Good for them they had done enough in those first 39 minutes 48 seconds to make the last twelve not matter a whole lot.

With the Mocs up six with 12 seconds left, there is no reason the Mocs should get into a situation where they might lose. Yet, the Terriers had a free throw with a chance to tied it just four seconds later. After avoiding that near disaster, the Mocs missed two free throws, and Greg Pryor had to take a charge with a second left for the Mocs to avoid losing the game.

It was a pehnomenal game. It was very exciting, but this seems to be becoming a bit of a habit for the Mocs. They seem to have games put away with about a minute or so left and then suddenly, they start to struggle and have to kind of survive a late scare. This is clearly the biggest scare they have had in this situation, and they did survive, but it is becoming an uncomfortable thing for me as a Mocs fan.

That being said, the Mocs came up with their sixth straight win and are now 4-0 in SoCon play. It's really impossible to complain about that on the whole. The Mocs are now 10-8 overall, and 7-8 against D1 teams on the year. This from a team that fourteen days ago had exactly one D1 win. Impressive.

Z Mason scored 17 points with 7 rebounds and four blocks. That's not a double-double. After six straight double-doubles, that has to be a bit of a disappointment. But Mason again was very good. He continues to have a tremendously positive impact on the Mocs. Casey Jones wound up with a career high 23 points and eight rebounds. Jones collected 19 points in the second half. Lance Stokes had eight rebounds as well and Rico White again scored in double digits off the bench with fifteen points. Stokes contributed an additional three blocks.

The game was played at the Terriers pace for most of the night, but the Mocs effort and energy for a large chunk of the second half again won the day. The Mocs built an eleven point lead before letting it getting taken away in the final couple of minutes. The trip to Wofford next week will be a significant challenge for this club. The trip to an improving Appalachian State team won't be exactly easy. I think that 9-7 will be enough to get no worse than a tie for the bye. That means the Mocs need to go 5-7 or 6-6 the rest of the way to get a bye in my opinion. With the parity in the SoCon, I think any team with a bye will have a shot (some shot) at winning the SoCon Tournament.

The Mocs need to learn how to close out games well. But at 4-0, it's hard to really complain.


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