Chattanooga (16-12) at UNC Greensboro (12-16)

The Sports NetworkFebruary 23, 2014 

GAME NOTES: Chattanooga tries to keep up with the elite teams in the Southern Conference, as the Mocs clash with the UNC Greensboro Spartans in North Carolina this afternoon.

With a league mark of 10-3, the Mocs are within striking distance of the top programs in the SoCon, but the team hasn't done itself any favors in recent weeks by losing three of its last four outings. Three nights ago, Chattanooga was crushed by Georgia Southern at home, 77-61, marking just the second home loss of the campaign for the Mocs.

While the Mocs still have their eye on the prize, the same cannot be said for a slumping UNCG squad that has a mark of only 5-8 in conference and has won just twice in the last nine outings. Earlier this week the Spartans were treated to an 81-68 beating by Elon at home.

The Mocs lead the all-time series by a count of 19-15, but the team has dropped five of the last six encounters with UNCG.

At home in McKenzie Arena, the Mocs went from converting 12 field goals in the first half against Georgia Southern to a mere eight after the break, en route to the double-digit setback on Thursday night. Z. Mason posted 21 points and seven rebounds for the hosts, followed by Greg Pryor with 10 points, but beyond that pair there was very little to speak of from an offensive standpoint.

Mason, who has missed a couple of games this season, remains the top scoring threat for the Mocs with his 18.0 ppg, getting the job done with 50.7 percent shooting from the floor. He is also tops on the unit with 9.5 rpg and 79 blocked shots, so maybe he can be forgiven for issuing a mere 20 assists in more than 700 minutes of action. Casey Jones and Gee McGhee check in with 11.9 and 10.2 ppg, respectively.

Like the Mocs, UNC Greensboro didn't have much luck playing at home against a league foe earlier this week, losing to Elon by double digits at Greensboro Coliseum. Kyle Cain scored 16 points and pulled down eight rebounds, the best effort among a starting five that combined to shoot only 15-of-49 from the floor. Off the bench, RJ White tried to give the group a spark with 21 points, nine rebounds and four steals before fouling out.

In conference play, the Spartans are putting up an even 70.0 ppg, but shooting just 42.6 percent from the floor and averaging just five made 3-pointers per contest. Cain is responsible for 15.1 ppg and is constantly a threat to record a double-double now that he is averaging 9.9 rpg against the rest of the league. Tevon Saddler (12.7 ppg) is responsible for 37 assists, but his mere 35.9 percent accuracy from the floor tends to overshadow that effort.

Both of these teams are hoping for stronger efforts at both ends of the floor after their respective experiences earlier this week, but the incentive is much greater for the Mocs to get back on track.

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