Chattanooga Mocs (17-16, 11-9) vs. College of Charleston Cougars (26-7, 15-5)
Monday, March 9, 2009—7:00 PM EST
After dispatching the tournament favorite Davidson Wildcats, the College of Charleston Cougars, the No. 3 South seed, take on the Chattanooga Mocs, the No. 1 North seed, with an NCAA tournament berth at stake.
This will be the second time this year these teams have squared off.
The Cougars won the first meeting, 86-77, back in late February on the Mocs' home floor. Bobby Cremins’ bunch will need to lean on that experience since the SoCon tourney is being played at Chattanooga this year. Needless to say, Charleston will be playing an away game.
Charleston comes into the game piping hot. They’ve won eight in a row and 10 of their last 11 overall.
Chattanooga dropped their last three regular season games, but they’ve rebounded with two wins to reach the tournament final. Charleston, because of seeding, had to play an extra game to reach this point, so the Mocs should have fresher legs. Don’t underestimate how tough it will be for Charleston to not only battle the crowd, but also to play their fourth game in four days.
In the only meeting between these teams this year, Chattanooga outshot the Cougars percentage-wise from the floor and from behind the three-point line, although Charleston did convert three more threes than the Mocs.
The one area that cost Chattanooga the game was in the turnover department.
The Cougars took good care of the ball, finishing with only 10 on the game. Chattanooga, however, had 18 giveaways. Providing a team as offensively talented as Charleston with eight extra possessions is a recipe for disaster.
Chattanooga will have to do a much better job of handling the ball tonight.
Andrew Goudelock led the way for Charleston with 21 points and four assists. He had help from Donovan Monroe, 18 points, and Antwaine Wiggins, who finished with 16 points and five rebounds
Dustin Scott, eight rebounds, and Jermaine Johnson, seven boards, led the Cougars on the glass.
Chattanooga had four players score in double figures. Kevin Goffney was the high man with 26 points, while Stephen McDowell pumped in 15.
Nicchaeus Doaks had 12 points and seven rebounds, and Khalil Hartwell had 12 points and six rebounds.
Current line: Charleston -2.5
Chattanooga is 8-12 against the spread with a record of 3-5 as an underdog.
Charleston is 13-12 against the spread with a record of 8-10 as the favorite.
The Cougars are the more talented team. As long as they can control their emotions and endure the runs and lift the Mocs will receive from their fans, Charleston can size themselves for dancing shoes.
Steve’s pick: Charleston -2.5