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SoCon Recap: Tightening Up the Middle

The middle of the SoCon is very tight and ETSU beat Mercer in the biggest game of the night.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports


Chattanooga 73, UNCG 60

ETSU 65, Mercer 63 (OT)

VMI 83, Samford 76

The Citadel 92, Western Carolina 91


Chattanooga 6-1

ETSU 5-1

Mercer 4-2

Wofford 4-2

Furman 3-3

The Citadel 2-4

Western Carolina 2-4

UNCG 2-4

Samford 2-5

VMI 1-5

Game of the Night: ETSU 65, Mercer 63 (OT)

Can Mercer play any more close games? The Bears beat Wofford in overtime on Saturday and lost to ETSU in overtime tonight. Ge'Lawn Guyn knocked down the winning shot with three seconds left to give the Bucs the win. Guyn also made a shot with 27 seconds left in regulation to tie up the contest. This was an important win for ETSU. They still have to play Wofford twice and go to Mercer. It was important to get this home win to keep pace in the race.

Team of the Night: VMI Keydets

The Keydets came into the night winless in SoCon play, but took down Samford at home with relative ease. That's a good night. They have two home games against Chattanooga and Furman coming up on Saturday and Monday. This team still has a chance to get into the bye race, but could use another upset this weekend to get there. But for tonight, they are enjoying this nice win.

Player of the Night: QJ Peterson, VMI

Peterson hit a career high eight threes and scored 34 points to give the Keydets the win they desperately needed. He had five rebounds and three assists. The only other Keydet in double figures was Julian Eleby, who had 29. Combined, the two had 63 of 83 points. Peterson was a star. He is the best player on a team that isn't particularly good. But Peterson is a real challenge to guard. He showed it off tonight.

Disappointment of the Night: Western Carolina at home.

So confusing. We are used to Cullowhee being a place that very few teams walk in and win. It's a tough place to play as a road team for whatever reason. Yet, this is the Catamounts second home SoCon loss. This one was not to ETSU, a team that might win the regular season title. No, this one was to The Citadel, a team that had not won a conference game last week at this time. The Catamounts blew a 7 point lead in the final three minutes and missed two free throws late, before P.J. Boutte hit two free throws to give the Bulldogs the win and get them into a tie for the 6th spot and the final bye.

Other Thoughts:

--Could things get any tighter? The difference between the sixth place team and the last place team is one game. The difference from Furman in the five spot and last place is just two games. The Wofford-Furman game will go a long way to determining which group Furman belongs in- the top tier or the next tier. That next tier is really tight.

--Francis Alonso is the best freshman in the SoCon, and may be one of the best players in the conference. He is a little underrated on UNCG, but he is really good.

--The military schools both won, and it may be worth considering if either team will be able to get into position to get a bye. This after most of the year it has appeared they were the worst teams in the league. They may still finish there, but there were signs of life tonight.