GAME NOTES: The Chattanooga Mocs visit the College of Charleston Cougars in a Southern Conference matchup on Saturday afternoon at TD Arena.
Chattanooga is currently on the tail end of a four-game road swing in which it comes in with a 2-1 record after a 70-65 victory at The Citadel on Jan. 10. UTC has won five of its last six.
Charleston will try to bounce back from its first conference loss of the season to Samford, 62-57, on Thursday night, which snapped a season-best, five-game win streak dating back to a non-conference home victory over Old Dominion on Dec. 18.
The Cougars lead the all-time series with Chattanooga, 16-11. They have won four of the last five meetings with the Mocs. The last two contests in the series have been decided by three points or less.
The Mocs overcame a 10-point second-half deficit to capture a 70-65 win at The Citadel on Thursday night, giving them five wins in the last six games. Senior guard Dontay Hampton came off the bench to produce 11 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Z. Mason posted team-highs with 15 points and eight boards. Chattanooga made all eight of its free throws in the final 30 seconds to secure the win.
Mason leads the Mocs in scoring (17.4 ppg) and rebounding (7.1 rpg). The team has been very good on the boards, as it leads the conference with 38.4 rpg, rebounding margin (+5.6) and offensive rebounding percentage (.375). The Mocs currently rank 61st in the nation in rebounds per game. The Mocs have taken more free-throws (377) than any other team in the league, and they are tied for 20th nationally in that department.
Samford claimed its first-ever victory over the Cougars after 13 tries as it downed Charleston, 62-57. Adjehi Baru registered his fourth career double- double and third of the season with a game-high 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Cougars. Andrew Lawrence scored in double figures for the fourth consecutive contest with 14 points. Entering the game, the Cougars ranked 15th in the nation and first in the league by holding opponents to just 27.8 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Samford shot an opponent season-high 50 percent (8-of-16) from 3-point land against the Cougars.
Andrew Lawrence (13.9 ppg) and Anthony Stitt (11.2 ppg) lead the way for the Cougars. Sophomore big man Adjehi Baru currently paces the Southern Conference in rebounds per game (9.0 ppg), which currently ranks 46th nationally. As a team, Charleston is both scoring and giving up 61.9 ppg.
Chattanooga's rebounding should give it extra chances and limit the Cougars' opportunities. Expect the Mocs to take a close contest.
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