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SoCon Recap: Mocs Win Big One, Mercer Wins Emotionally

The Mocs won, creating more space between them and the rest of the pack. Mercer won, setting up another huge showdown on Monday night between the Mocs and the Bears.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Scores

Wofford 78, Samford 75

Western Carolina 69, VMI 60

Mercer 88, The Citadel 72

Chattanooga 62, Furman 54

ETSU 68, UNCG 65

Standings

Chattanooga 10-1

ETSU 8-3

Mercer 8-3

Furman 8-4

Wofford 7-4

UNCG 5-6

Western Carolina 4-7

The Citadel 3-8

Samford 2-10

VMI 1-10

Game of the Day: ETSU 68, UNCG 65

The Bucs trailed by 7 with two minutes left, but Ge'Lawn Guyn made a three point play with 40 seconds left to give ETSU the lead and they survived from there. It was a great comeback from ETSU, which won at UNCG and VMI this week to get back on the winning track. They needed some wins this week to get back and are now back in second place in the standings. What a great comeback for the Bucs.

Team of the Day: Mercer Bears

It was a hard day for the Bears to be playing basketball. But they survived and won. It was a nice win for the team in such a difficult setting. The win puts them into third place in the standings, in a tie for second. They have a match-up with league leading Chattanooga on Monday night in Macon. That will be a game that Mercer can get right back into race with that win.

Player of the Day: Andrew Fishler, Mercer

Fishler stepped up and played very well on Saturday. He scored twenty points and collected ten rebounds. The Bears were playing with heavy hearts on Saturday, and Fishler stepped up and made a huge difference in the game against The Citadel. He had not scored in double digits or collected double digit rebounds all year.

Disappointment of the Day: UNCG last two minutes.

The Spartans were up 62-55 with just two minutes left and lost at home to a team they could catch in the standings. That has to leave a mark. This program is so hungry for big wins and missed a golden opportunity on Saturday. The Spartans could have been sitting at 6-5, just one loss behind Furman, ETSU and Wofford. Instead, they are 5-6 and up just one game on Western Carolina for the final bye. This was a crushing loss for the Spartans. They got to Furman and VMI next week. They need to win at least one of those.

Other Thoughts:

--Chattanooga beat Furman, and really led throughout the contest. That was revenge for the Mocs against the Paladins. It gave the Mocs a lead of three games in the loss column against Furman and Wofford. That gives the Mocs a huge lead over those two teams with just seven games left. The Mocs are up two games on ETSU and Mercer. They play each on the road between now and next Saturday.

--Furman had the look of a true title contender in their performance in Chattanooga. They lost by eight points, but Furman looked like a team that could beat the Mocs in Asheville for sure and their tough style is very effective. They are tough for every team to handle in the conference, and the Mocs are no exception. Furman might just be in the NCAA Tournament.

--Don't look now, but ETSU is back in second. The team that they are tied with (Mercer) plays four of their next five against the top five teams. The Bucs have a chance to gain some ground here. They host Samford, Chattanooga and Western Carolina before going to The Citadel in those four games. They close with Mercer, Wofford and Furman. Over the next four games, they have a chance to create some separation between them and the pack for second while making a run at first and then try to hold on to it at the end.

--Monday's highlight is Chattanooga's trip to Mercer. But UNCG's trip to Furman is interesting as well. The Spartans beat the Paladins earlier in the season. Another win would put them in a position to make a run at the top five. A loss would put them just a half game up on Western Carolina for a bye spot. This is a big moment for UNCG.