Mocs Travel To Furman, Wofford
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
The Chattanooga Mocs are back on the road after three in a row in the Roundhouse. The squad heads east for the Upstate Swing taking on Furman on Thursday and Wofford on Saturday.
Chattanooga’s sweep of its 3-game home stand moved it into fourth-place in the Southern Conference standings at 5-2. Wofford leads at 7-0, one game ahead of UNCG (6-1), ETSU (5-2) is a half-game in between the Spartans and Mocs in third. Furman is fifth at 4-3 trailed by Samford (2-5), Mercer (2-5), Western Carolina (2-6), VMI (1-6) and The Citadel (1-5).
Last weekend’s sweep of Mercer and The Citadel led to SoCon Player of the Week honors for Kevin Easley.
Easley is on a 7-game double-figure scoring streak (16.6 ppg). He has three 20-point efforts in his last five outings. Four of his six on the season came in SoCon play.
Sophomore Ramon Vila is keeping pace. Vila tallied 13.7 points and 5.7 rebounds over that seven-game span. Much of that occurred in SoCon play where sophomore guard David Jean-Baptiste has excelled. Jean-Baptiste posts 10.7 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.3 steals per SoCon game. His shooting numbers spiked in league play as well: 47.2 percent from the field, 44.8 percent from three and 85.7 percent at the free throw line.
There’s been a depth of contributions that’s led to surge in league play.
"We're not relying upon one guy," Coach Lamont Paris shared. "I like it that way. We have a lot of guys that can make it happen. It's nice to have more guys having the capability of making some plays. Whether they do or don't, that plays itself out, but they are capable. We have some guys who can shoot, some guys who can make decisions off ball screens. That's one of our strengths."
The competition is fierce this weekend. Furman has spent some time in the Top 25 this season and Wofford is receiving votes. Both are huge challenges, but the Mocs youthful group is right in the thick of the SoCon race early.
"We've played well,” Paris said about the recent home stand. “Can we keep playing well is the question? It's on to the next game on the schedule. Its two really good teams on the road. Defensively and in transition, it's a challenge.
“Certainly on the road, especially against two good teams, you have to shoot well and defend at a high level. We're focused on the next game. You lock into what you need to do to win that night."
Both contests air on ESPN+ online and 96.1 FM in Chattanooga. Audio is also available on the TuneIn app as well as GoMocs.com.
Chattanooga returns to the friendly confines of the Roundhouse on Jan. 31 with Western Carolina coming to town. ETSU follows on Saturday, Feb. 2. Home tickets are available at the link above or by calling (423) 266-MOCS (6627).