GAME NOTES: The Chattanooga Mocs have a chance to capture the second seed for the upcoming Southern Conference Tournament when they host the Appalachian State Mountaineers in the regular-season finale for both teams at the Holmes Center.
Chattanooga moved to 11-4 in conference play following Thursday night dramatic 83-81 overtime win against Western Carolina. Casey Jones poured in a team-high 19 points, including the game-winning bucket in the final minute of overtime, as the Mocs ended a two-game slide. Z. Mason came off the bench to tally 16 points and six rebounds for Chattanooga, which is in a three-way tie for second-place in the standings with Elon and Wofford, and now sits one-game up on Western Carolina.
The Catamounts led by nine with 14:21 to go, but the Mocs stormed back and held a five-point lead with under five minutes left. WCU went back ahead by three with 21 seconds left following a pair of Boggs free throws, but Chattanooga tied the game with eight seconds to play on a Martynas Bareika 3- pointer to force overtime. In the extra session, WCU held a four-point lead with 33 seconds to play, but Chattanooga finished the game on a 6-0 run, with Jones' layup with 13 seconds left proving to be the game-winner.
Mason leads the Mocs in scoring and rebounding this season with 18 ppg and a SoCon-leading 9.4 rpg. Jones is next with 12.4 ppg, while Ronrico White (11.2) and McGhee (10.2) round out the double-digit scorers for Chattanooga, which averages over 76 ppg this season.
The Mountaineers are coming off a 63-57 win over Samford on Thursday night. Tommy Spagnolo had 21 points and 10 rebounds as Appalachian State snapped a three-game losing streak. Aaron Scott came off the bench to score 11points for the Mountaineers, who improved to 9-19 overall and 5-10 in the SoCon.
The Bulldogs held an eight-point lead with 7:19 to play, but the Mountaineers finished the game off on a 17-3 run, with Tevin Baskin's layup with 56 seconds left proving to be the game-winner.
The leading scorer for the Mountaineers is Tab Hamilton, who is averaging 13 ppg. Mike Neal is putting up 10.1 ppg for Appalachian State, which averages 69.1 ppg. Michael Obacha is pulling down a team-best 8.7 rpg.
These two teams met back on Jan. 16 with Chattanooga coming away with an 80-70 win. Mason scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and Martynas Bareika netted 16 points for the Mocs. Canty led the way with 18 points and five rebounds for Appalachian State, which was never really in the game.
Expect the Mocs to run away with this one as well. The teams have near mirror images of home and road records (11-2 at home for Mocs, 2-12 road for Mountaineers) and Chattanooga has too much on the line.
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