GAME NOTES: The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets continue their season-long, seven- game homestand on Wednesday night, as they entertain the Chattanooga Mocs at McCamish Pavilion.
Chattanooga has recorded just five wins this season, but three of those victories have come in consecutive games in recent weeks. After defeating Reinhardt on Dec. 21 (108-78), the Mocs went on to beat High Point (68-61) and Utah Valley (76-69) on their way to the Dr. Pepper Classic title, a tournament they hosted this past weekend.
Georgia Tech's homestand has been fantastic so far as it has won all five of its games since returning to Atlanta on Dec. 4, most recently downing Fordham on Saturday, 73-48. The victory moved the Yellow Jackets to 9-2 on the season, and they've now won each of the last three games by at least 25 points. This will be the final game of their non-conference schedule before opening up ACC play this Saturday versus Miami-Florida.
After Chattanooga won two of the first three matchups in the series, the Yellow Jackets have won 13 straight decisions, including a 62-53 win last season to take a 14-2 series advantage.
Despite shooting less than 40 percent from the field against Utah Valley, Chattanooga was able to hold on for the seven-point win by claiming a substantial advantage on the glass, 48-33, and on the season it is the Southern Conference's best rebounding squad with a plus-7.0 margin. Leading the charge for the Mocs was Z. Mason, who tallied a double-double with 26 points and 13 boards (both career-highs), while also adding three steals and two blocks. Gee McGhee added 11 points and nine rebounds, while Ronrico White also tallied 11 points. The Mocs haven't been all that efficient with their field goals this year, making only 40.4 percent of their attempts (including 26.2 percent from 3-point range) for a scoring average of 67.4 ppg. Mason (13.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg) has been one of the team's few exceptions, making greater than 49 percent of his field goal tries. McGhee is the only other player scoring in double figures with 10.2 ppg, but White (9.8 ppg) and Drazen Zlovaric (9.0 ppg) are on the doorstep.
Georgia Tech continued its dominant stretch in its 25-point victory last weekend by out-shooting Fordham from the field by an astounding margin, 50 percent to 28.1 percent. Daniel Miller and Robert Carter, Jr. were the only two Yellow Jackets in double figures with 14 points apiece, but 12 different players notched at least one field goal in the win. Mfon Udofia attempted only three shots from the floor but he handed out seven assists and came up with a pair of steals. The Jackets have put together an offense that has been modest at best this year, shooting 43.7 percent from the floor for 65.9 ppg, but their success has come as a result of their outstanding scoring defense, which ranks sixth in the country in yielding a mere 53.1 ppg. Their fundamental play doesn't stop at the defensive end, as they also hold positive margins in rebounds (plus-4.9) and turnovers (plus-2.0). Marcus Georges-Hunt leads the team with 11.1 ppg, but Georgia Tech relies on a balanced effort, with Robert Carter, Jr., Kammeon Holsey, and Udofia all averaging between 9.3 and 9.7 ppg.
Chattanooga possesses some offensive fire power, but going on the road to face one of the nation's best defensive teams will prove to be too much for the Mocs to overcome.
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