BOONE, N.C. – Appalachian State University men's basketball kicks off a two-game homestand when it plays host to Southern Conference rival Chattanooga on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Holmes Center.
The Mountaineers (4-12, 0-3 SoCon) are looking to put an end to a six-game winning streak for the Mocs (10-8, 4-0), who have not lost since Dec. 18. Chattanooga, on the other hand, will look to end Appalachian's streak of seven-straight home wins in the series.
Thursday's game is also another "Give a Pair, Get a Pair" game. Fans who bring a pair of shoes to the contest, or any remaining home game, will receive a pair of tickets for their contribution to the Michael Obacha Shoe Drive.
SCOUTING THE MOCS
• Chattanooga enters Thursday’s game with a record of 10-8 and a perfect 4-0 mark in Southern Conference play.
• The Mocs enter the weekend as the hottest team in the league, having won six-straight games and sitting at the top of the SoCon standings.
• Z Mason has been the difference maker for the Mocs this season, averaging 18.8 points and 9.1 rebounds per game - far better numbers than he posted last year (14.9 ppg, 7.8 rpg).
• In four league games Mason has been absolutely dominant, averaging 20.8 points and 11.0 rebounds. He has tallied seven double-doubles this season, the best mark in the SoCon and 19th-best mark in the nation.
• While Mason has been the top player for Chattanooga, the Mocs also have four other players who average in double figures in Ronrico White (11.6 ppg), Casey Jones (11.5) and Gee McGhee (10.7).
• Chattanooga ranks first in the league and 47th nationally in scoring offense (78.7 ppg).
• The Mocs have eclipsed the 80-point plateau eight times this season and have gone over the century mark twice.
• Despite its early success, Chattanooga is just 2-6 on the road this season.
• Appalachian State is 31-43 all-time against the Mocs, but has largely dominated the series in Boone, where it holds a 21-10 advantage.
• The series has been especially competitive over the past six seasons as the teams have split the season series each year.
• The last sweep of the season series came in 2006-07 when the Mountaineers took both games, snapping a four-game losing streak against Chattanooga.
• Appalachian has not lost a home game to the Mocs since Jan. 6, 2006, a string of seven consecutive games.
• Last season, the teams played two completely contrasting games. In the first meeting, Chattanooga rallied from 19 points down with 6:36 to go to pick up an overtime win.
• When the teams met in the regular-season finale in Boone, the Mountaineers hammered the Mocs, 86-60, to lock up a first-round by at the SoCon Tournament.
• Jay Canty has been a Moc killer in his career. In two games against Chattanooga, the junior has averaged 23.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. He also has three blocks and shoots 60.7 percent (17-of-28) against Chattanooga.
ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL
• Thursday marks the next chapter in what has become an ultra-competitive rivalry.
• Appalachian and Chattanooga have split the last 12 games in the all-time series as neither team has swept the season series since 2006-07.
• Each of the six wins for both the Mountaineers and Mocs over the past six seasons have come on their respective home floors.
• Appalachian has won seven-straight at home against UTC and is 21-10 when facing the Mocs in Boone.
• While his presence on the court has certainly made a big impact, Michael Obacha hopes to make an even bigger difference in his home country of Nigeria.
• This fall, Obacha made the decision to begin collecting athletic shoes to take back to his homeland this summer in an effort to aid those in need in Nigeria.
• Appalachian State athletics has announced that for every pair of shoes that fans bring to donate at all remaining home games, fans will receive a pair of tickets to that day’s game.
• Obacha will be teaming up with former Davidson basketball star Andrew Lovedale, also a native of Nigeria, and the Access 2 Success charitable foundation that Lovedale started during his time as a student-athlete.
• To date, the Michael Obacha Shoe Drive has raised $475 and collected over 50 pairs of shoes to send to Nigeria. Additional information can be found by clicking HERE.
• Appalachian plays host to Georgia Southern (Jan. 18) before closing out the first month of league play at The Citadel (Jan. 23) and UNCG (Jan. 30).
• The Mountaineers play seven of their next 10 games at home.
• Appalachian plays just three home games in January but will have five in February.