Elon 75, Appalachian State 66
Key Stat: Elon +14 on the boards. Elon came up with 35 rebounds compared to 21 for Appalachian State. That is a huge difference. The Phoenix, not known as a good offensive rebounding team, came up with twelve offensive rebounds on the night. If Appalachian State had been able to come up with some rebounds, they may have been able to keep this one even closer and maybe even win the game.
Player of the Game: Ryan Winters, Elon. Winters came off the bench to knock down 6 of 7 from the floor and scored 14 points off the bench, to go along with three offensive rebounds. Winters made some big shots, and coming off the bench was huge for the Phoenix. They need that kind of production from someone off the bench consistently and Winters gave it to the Phoenix tonight.
What It All Means: The Mountaineers showed a lot of heart with Jay Canty there. Canty looked like an All SoCon kind of player that he is. Maybe, just maybe, the Mountaineers can get things going in the right direction with Canty back. They are showing some heart. The Phoenix needed a win very badly after a bad week. They wanted to come up with an easy win. It was not as easy as they would have liked, but to get to 1-1, a win is a win.
UNCG 90, Furman 82
Key Stat: Spartans 18 assists, Paladins 4. Assists is not a great barometer of how good a team is playing, but for the Paladins to have just four assists is pretty surprising. On 25 made shots, they came up with just four assists. That's not good offense, even if the Paladins did shoot 50% from the floor.
Player of the Game: Kayel Locke, UNCG. Hard to say, but Locke's 18 points four rebounds and one assist was very nice indeed. Locke made 8 of 12 shots. He is an underrated player in the SoCon, along with Cain, and if when they both play well, the Spartans are very difficult to beat.
What It All Means: The Paladins are 0-2 in the SoCon heading home for Davidson. That's never a good position to be in. They played OK, but still have some work to do. They are a work in progress. Tonight, the offense was good, but the defense was terrible. They'll put it all together at some point and upset some teams, but are not quite there yet. The Spartans needed a win desperately after the bad performance at Western Carolina. They did not play good defense, but they really just about could not have been better on offense. The Spartans have a trip to Appalachian State and a home game against The Citadel. If they win both, they'll get Davidson at home on a Saturday at 3-1 and the whole SoCon will be watching. The Spartans need to not get ahead of themselves, but it's out there.
Chattanooga 82, The Citadel 78
Key Stat: Bulldogs shoot 37.5% from the field in the second half. The Mocs defense has been much better recently, but in the first half, the Bulldogs shot 53% from the floor and scored 42 points. Things were bad. In the second half, the Bulldogs shot just 37.5% from the floor, and that is how the Mocs were able to come up with the win.
Player of the Game: Z Mason, Chattanooga. Mason scored 30 points and had 14 rebounds, eleven of them offensive. Mason only had four points at halftime, and rolled to 26 second half points, including the two free throws that sealed it. Mason was 10 of 21 from the floor and 2 of 7 from three, while going 8 of 9 from the free throw line.
What It All Means: The Mocs went 2-0 on a road trip for the first time in six years. They played really poorly for much of the game tonight, but found a way to win. That's a sign of a good and improving team. The Mocs are not a SoCon favorite by any means, but they are getting themselves into a position to be in the mix for a bye. The Bulldogs looked much better. With PJ Horgan back, they looked like a legitimate SoCon team that may be able to get themselves out of the SoCon cellar. Horgan was only supposed to play five minutes and he played fifteen. They made 9 of 18 from three. If they shoot like that, the Bulldogs will be a tough out. They are 0-1 in SoCon play with games at Wofford and Elon coming up this week.