GAME NOTES: The Spartans of UNC Greensboro seek out only their second road win of the 2012-13 season on Thursday, as they clash with the Chattanooga Mocs in Southern Conference play at McKenzie Arena.
All alone in last place in the North Division of the SoCon, UNCG has just five wins in 14 league outings at the moment, and is also the only team in the division that doesn't have double-digit wins overall. The Spartans are coming off a 76-68 loss versus Appalachian State on Sunday, the third defeat in a row and the fifth in six outings for the club overall.
As for the Mocs, currently just one game ahead of UNCG in the division, they too lost their most recent contest as they bowed to Wofford on the road last Saturday, 78-58. The defeat snapped a modest two-game win streak for Chattanooga.
The Spartans have won three straight meetings with Chattanooga, thanks to a 77-69 victory in the first clash of the season last month. However, the Mocs are the ones who currently own an 18-13 edge in the all-time series.
UNCG was outscored 15-5 at the free-throw line on Sunday when it fell to visiting ASU at Greensboro Coliseum, just one of the reasons why the Spartans came up short. Derrell Armstrong tried to keep the hosts in the mix with his game-high 20 points, followed by Kayel Locke and Trevis Simpson with 16 and 12 points, respectively. Defensively, the Spartans did force 16 turnovers and created 23 points from those miscues, but it still wasn't enough to turn the tide.
One of the top scorers in Southern Conference games this season, Simpson is responsible for 19.3 ppg in his 13 appearances against the rest of the SoCon. Simpson did miss one game and fouled out of two more, so who knows how much more damage he could have done. Armstrong checks in with 13.6 ppg for a squad that is generating 67.1 ppg, just slightly under the 68.6 ppg being allowed by the Spartans.
For the sixth time this season, Z. Mason scored at least 20 points the last time he took the floor, hitting for a team-best 24 points as he shot a perfect 3-of-3 beyond the arc and 9-of-11 from the floor, but still UTC was thumped by host Wofford over the weekend. Gee McGhee produced another 13 points and also collected seven rebounds, marking his ninth straight game with at least 12 points and the 18th time this season he has hit for double figures, but with the team shooting a mere 33.3 percent from the floor overall there was little hope for victory.
Over the course of 27 games, each of which they've started for the Mocs, Mason and McGhee are the only ones who have consistently scored in double figures. Mason tops the list with his 14.5 ppg and is also first with 7.3 rpg, although those numbers still don't absolve him from having just 20 assists and 46 turnovers at this stage of the campaign. McGhee (11.9 ppg) has tried to make up the difference in the passing department with his 66 dishes, but he has his own issues at the free-throw line (.589).
Chattanooga is far from a dominant team at home these days, but the fact that the Spartans have been so dreadful on the road is enough of a reason to pick the hosts in this meeting.
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