Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mocs 84, Phoenix 63

The Mocs fell behind 8-0 in this one early, and there were some questions as to whether or not the Mocs were ready for this challenge. Maybe the Mocs just weren't as prepared as we thought they were for this kind of game.

But then, suddenly, there was no doubt. They were ready. They were ready and they were dominating. During the next 28 minutes of the game, they outscored Elon by 33 points. The final ten minutes were roughly even as the Mocs just tried to play out the string and not blow it. They didn't come close to blowing it.

Z Mason showed up and scored 27 points with 11 rebounds. He was a man tonight and dominated the paint, even against Lucas Troutman, a 6-10 player that failed to show up tonight in many ways. Of course, the turning point of the game may have been Gee McGhee. The Mocs were up 38-32 just before halftime, when McGhee drained a 3/4 foot shot at the halftime buzzer to give the Mocs the 41-32 lead. That seemed to take any remaining air out of the Phoenix sails. They simply did not have a chance after halftime to make a comeback. McGhee finished with 13 points and five rebounds. Rico White made three of five from long range. All three of his threes were in the first half.

What does this game mean for the Mocs? It means that the Mocs are not messing around anymore. There is no doubt that they are one of the SoCon favorites now. They hold the tiebreaker over Wofford and Elon. They hold a two loss or more lead on nine of the ten SoCon teams right now. They only lead Davidson by one loss, and play them just once this year. They go to Davidson a week from tonight. Will they be able to win a game like that on the road? Hard to imagine. But this whole season has become a little hard to imagine.

The Mocs next challenge though? Showing up focused and prepared when they take on UNCG on Saturday night. The Mocs could easily pat themselves on the back and not show up ready to play. The Spartans could take them out if they do not come ready to play. Will the Mocs show up ready?

Will Wade has proven himself beyond any doubt. If anyone was questioning if ht was the right man for the job, tonight should have ended any doubt about that as well. Coach Wade has done an amazing job. The Mocs nine game winning streak has been phenomenal. Unreal.


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