GAME NOTES: The Chattanooga Mocs attempt to keep pace atop at the Southern Conference standings when they host the Georgia Southern Eagles at McKenzie Arena on Thursday.
The Mocs are 10-2 in the SoCon after last Friday's 83-73 win over Western Carolina. Z Mason scored a game-high 23 points and Gee McGhee added 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Mocs, who ended a two-game slide and won for just the second time in five games. Chattanooga led 65-49 with a little more than 12 minutes to play in the game, but Western Carolina went on a 12-0 run to make it a game. However, the Mocs withstood the surge and never fell behind to secure the victory.
The Mocs come into this game second in the SoCon in scoring (76.9 ppg) and tops in rebounding (37) and blocks (5.2). Mason, who has 12 double-doubles this season, leads the team in scoring, rebounding and blocks with 17.3 ppg, 10.5 rpg and 3.1 bpg.
Georgia Southern has dropped four straight after Saturday's 88-73 setback to Davidson. Jelani Hewitt scored 30 points for the Eagles, but it wasn't enough as Georgia Southern couldn't overcome a 13-point halftime deficit. Brian Holmes chipped in 11 points and Tre Bussey added 10 points and four rebounds for Georgia Southern, which has just two wins in its last nine outings.
Hewitt leads the SoCon is scoring with 20.4 ppg and steals with 2.3 per contest. Bussey is also in the top 10 in SoCon scoring with 15.5 ppg for the Eagles, who average 71.8 ppg.
This is the only meeting of the season between the Mocs and Eagles, who are leaving the SoCon at season's end. Georgia Southern has won four in a row in this series, capturing last year's only contest 59-57.
However, don't expect the Eagles to keep that streak going here. The Mocs are balanced and playing much better right now than the Eagles. Even though Georgia Southern has the conference's leading scorer, they are just 3-10 on the road, compared to an 11-1 home mark for the Mocs. It will be a high- scoring affair, but Chattanooga should come out on top.
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