Eagles Battle the Mocs Thursday in Chattanooga
The Mocs (13-7, 8-2) started the conference season with six straight wins and took over sole possession of the North Saturday after defeating Appalachian State at home.
“It’s obviously a really tough game and we’re going to have to play extremely well,” said head coach Jeff Price. “They’re 8-2 in the league and I think they’re playing as good as anybody right now. It’s our fourth game in eight days and back on the road and they haven’t played in five days. It’s certainly going to be a tough game. They’re big up front, they’re athletic, strong, they shoot the ball well and we’re going to have to find some answers for all of those things.”
Chattanooga has been especially tough at home, going 10-2 overall at McKenzie Arena and 6-0 in the league.
The Mocs are the second most accurate shooting team in the conference (47.4%), led by Nicchaeus Doaks who tops the SoCon charts at 59.4%.
“They’ve taken (77) more free throws than anybody in the conference,” Price said. “They’re a very inside oriented team, they’re an aggressive team that gets to the basket and they shoot it pretty good too. They really have the makeup of a high-major team with their size and their speed. It’s probably the best Chattanooga team I’ve seen since I’ve been here.”
GSU's win at Western Carolina Monday followed a familiar pattern: Georgia Southern struggling at the outset of the game. The Eagles fell behind 22-7 but managed to come back and win by 11. Price does not believe the issues had anything to do with fatigue.
“We got off to a slow start again against Western but that’s been a pattern,” said Price. “I don’t know if that’s tiredness more than mentally starting the game properly. We’ll find out more Thursday where we’re at from a fatigue standpoint. You may not see it early but I think over the course of 40 minutes we could see it but hopefully we’ll fight that off.”
Six times in the last seven games away from home GSU has fallen behind by eight or more points. On two occasions the team has managed to win despite the early struggles.
“I’ve tried a lot of different things,” said Price. “I’ve changed the lineup twice, we’ve tried some different pregame things, I’ve tried different talks before the game - believe me, if I knew the exact answer it wouldn’t be happening. I continue to say it’s my job to figure it out and I’ll continue to work and try to figure it out. That said, we’ve had some awfully good second halves, we just need to put two together. We’re not going to be able to continue to dig holes like we are and beat good people.”
Louis Graham has stepped up his production since being held to seven points at Davidson. In the eight games since then he has averaged 19.5 points and 8.1 rebounds with three double-doubles. He led all scorers with 25 points Monday, his fifth 20-point game in his recent run.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Wednesday, 30 January 2008 00:15