CHATTANOOGA ( ---The Chattanooga Mocs are on the road again heading to SEC neighbor Vanderbilt Saturday night. It's the second SEC opponent of the season after opening the campaign with an 82-69 win at Tennessee.
According to Coach Matt McCall, there's no looking back on recent high-major wins. The Mocs are 4-3 against such opponents in his tenure.
"Vanderbilt present a unique challenge and opportunity for our basketball team," McCall stated. "They're an excellent shooting team who plays really well at home right now. We'll have our work cut out for us.
"We have to be prepared to guard the 3pt line and rebound the basketball."
UTC is 8-2 with a five-game winning streak. All eight wins are by double digits. Senior Tre' McLean leads the way averaging 15.0 points per game. He's been scintillating over his last four appearances with 22.5 points and 3.5 steals per contest.
McLean is the Southern Conference leader in steals posting 2.3 per game with Greg Pryor close by in fourth (2.1). The squad is seventh in the country pilfering 10.0 per contest. The Mocs also rank among the nation's best in FG percentage (22nd, 49.5%), turnover margin (30th, +4.2) and blocks (34th, 5.4).
The blocks are obviously led by two-time SoCon Defensive Player of the Year Justin Tuoyo. His 3.5 per game average is sixth nationally with 216 career blocks ranking seventh in league history.
Vanderbilt is 5-5 so far, 4-1 in Memorial Gym. The Commodores have long enjoyed a unique home-court advantage with the team benches in the opposite end zones.
"It's always been a difficult place to play," McCall added remembering his many visits while a part of the Florida program. "Have some really good memories there and many not so good too."
The Commodores are an excellent 3pt shooting team making 41.4 percent and 9.8 per game. Those numbers rank 14th and 25th in the country. Point guard Riley LaChance makes 67.6 percent (23-34) of his efforts behind the arc and is impressive with the ball boasting a 3.1 assist-to-turnover ratio (44-14).
Matthew Fisher-Davis headlines the offense scoring at a 14.7 point-per-game clip. Luke Kornet (12.6) and Jeff Roberson (11.1) also post double digits with Roberson pacing efforts on the glass at 7.5 per contest.