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SoCon Recap: Mercer Slows Furman Hot Streak

A couple of road wins by ETSU and Wofford and home wins by Mercer and Chattanooga started to create some separation in the standings.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Scores

Wofford 86, The Citadel 83

Chattanooga 77, Western Carolina 58

Mercer 69, Furman 65

ETSU 81, Samford 77

Standings

ETSU 4-0

Chattanooga 4-1

Wofford 4-1

Mercer 3-1

Furman 3-2

Western Carolina 2-2

UNCG 1-3

Samford 1-4

The Citadel 0-4

VMI 0-4

Game of the Night- ETSU 81, Samford 77

ETSU survived the Bulldogs, who kept it close throughout. It was tied late in the game, and was one a point game when Ge'Lawn Guyn made a layup with fourteen seconds left, giving the Bucs a three point lead. Darius Jones-Gibson made a free throw for the Bulldogs, but missed the second, and the Bucs T.J. Cromer knocked down both free throws to give the Bucs the four point lead. It was a nice win for ETSU to get to 4-0 in SoCon play and Samford is left at 1-4. The Bulldogs looked like a different team at home. They need to come up with some wins soon, though.

Player of the Night- Justin Tuoyo, Chattanooga

The Catamounts were no match for Tuoyo, The Catamounts are not a big team and Tuoyo was too much for them to handles. He scored 20 points on 6 of 9 shooting from the floor and 8 of 11 from the free throw line. He had six rebounds with two blocks to go along with it. Tuoyo was simply too much for Western Carolina to handle and it showed.

Team of the Night- Mercer Bears

It's hard to know exactly how good this win was for Mercer over Furman. However, they beat the Paladins, who had just smoked Chattanooga and Samford at home last weekend. They dominated early and then held on late, but the Bears, behind Phillip Leonard and Stephon Jelks, won in the end. Mercer is a very good team. They showed it for much of the night tonight against Furman.

Disappointment of the Night- Furman's starters other than Stephen Croone

Stephen Croone scored 27 points for the Paladins on the road against Mercer. Kris Acox, Matt Rafferty, Daniel Fowler and John Davis III scored 13 points, had 10 rebounds and 6 assists combined. They shot 5 of 14 from the floor. They did not go to a free throw line a single time. All in all, not a great night for the starters not named Croone for the Paladins. The Paladins fought hard and came back from a huge early deficit against the home standing Bears, but Furman needed more from their starting five.

Other Notes

--The Mocs are completely different team when Greg Pryor is playing well. He was not good against Furman last Saturday or in the first half against Wofford...and the Mocs were outscored in three consecutive halves of basketball. He played better the last three halves, and the Mocs have outscored their opponents in each of those twenty minute periods. The Mocs really go as Pryor goes.

--Samford is a solid home team. They played much better against ETSU at home than they had played on the road. The Bulldogs are still a struggling 1-4 team, but with Western Carolina at home and trips to VMI and UNCG following that, possibly Samford could get a little run. They need to get some positive momentum going...and figure out how to win on the road.

--The Citadel also continues to play decently at home. They nearly beat Chattanooga and they made a late rally against Wofford to nearly come up with a home win. Home teams have won 15 of 22 games in conference games, one of the highest of any conference in the country. The Citadel has lost three home games, but has clearly played well at home. Samford is 1-1 in conference play at home, but is much better at home. Home court advantage is alive and well in the SoCon.

--The race for the bye is interesting. ETSU, Chattanooga, Wofford and Mercer are all up by at least two games on UNCG to get no worse than the sixth seed. Furman is up by one and a half games on UNCG and Western Carolina is up by just one game. It is awfully early to start looking at this, but it is never too early to start looking at where your team is in the race.