Sunday, January 19, 2014

Mocs 71, Terriers 57

The Mocs dominated the Terriers on the road by fourteen points on Saturday night, a tremendous performance that is probably their most impressive of the year. Five Mocs were in double figures.

Remember how Martynas Bareika did not score against the Terriers last Saturday? This Saturday, he put in ten points. He had five rebounds and was six of six from the free throw line. He did a nice job getting to the basket. He only tried one three pointer and missed it. He got to the basket and made two shots. He was one of the critical players in the Mocs win.

Z Mason once again collected fifteen rebounds to go along with twelve points. He made just 3 of 13 shots from the field. He came up with five blocks. He is the league leader in blocks and rebounds. Anyone that needs to look at who the SoCon Player of the Year really needs to look seriously at Mason. There are others in the discussion, but he is clearly got to be on the very short list.

Rico White was the leading scorer for the Mocs with 16 points. He made 2 of 4 from three point range. He did miss two free throws, making four of six. White has been so good since he came back from his hip injury.

The Terriers committed 23 fouls and the Mocs went to the line 32 times. That was another of the most important things for the Mocs in this one. They are doing a great job getting to the line and not fouling. If you look at their stats they are among the league leaders in both categories. That is one of the reasons they have done so well in recent weeks. They are also one of the league leaders in defensive field goal percentages. Who saw that coming just a few short weeks ago? Certainly not me. They have played tremendous on the defensive side of the ball, which was almost unthinkable earlier this year when they were so bad on the defensive end. That all happened thanks to the switch to the zone defense that they have been playing.

This team is now 6-0 in SoCon play and has Elon and UNCG at home this weekend. This is when things get difficult for the Mocs. The game after those two is at Davidson. These three games will determine exactly where the Mocs are. They could put themselves as the SoCon favorite. They could prove that they are not really a SoCon favorite right now, but only a bye contender. We'll know so much more after these three games.

This is truly an exciting time to be a Mocs fan. Will Wade has brought back energy and excitement to Chattanooga. The Mocs are over .500 against D1 competition for the first time this year at 9-8, and are four games over .500 overall. Again, who saw that coming in December? Certainly not me.


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