Chattanooga is off to a disappointing 3-7 start and has lost both of its Southern Conference games to date. The Mocs did manage to halt a four-game losing skid in their most recent outing against Spalding, but tonight's affair obvious represents a massive leap in level of competition.
Kentucky opened the season with eight consecutive victories and rose to the top spot in the national poll as a result. Unfortunately for the young Wildcats, they slipped up last time out against Indiana, falling to the Hoosiers on the road by a 73-72 final. It has been a week since that affair for Kentucky, which is beginning a string of five straight home games this evening, the first four of which appear to be favorable mismatches.
The Wildcats own an 11-0 series lead over Chattanooga, and the most recent triumph over the Mocs came in 2006.
Omar Wattad and Ricky Taylor are currently tied for the Chattanooga scoring lead with 12.2 ppg apiece, and Taylor is shooting 46.2 percent from three- point range. The Mocs are netting 70.0 ppg overall while permitting 66.1 ppg to opponents on just 40.7 percent field goal efficiency. Taking a look at the 98-48 romp over Spalding on Tuesday, Chattanooga shot 57.4 percent from the field while limiting the opposition to 33.3 percent efficiency. The Mocs nailed 14-of-28 three-pointers and earned huge advantages in both points from the foul line (22-7) and rebounds (39-24). Six Mocs led the way in the win, and Dontay Hampton was tops with 15 points.
The most obvious reason for Kentucky's one-point loss to Indiana last time out was turnovers, as the Wildcats suffered 17 giveaways in the tilt. That negative stat overshadowed 55.6 percent shooting from the floor and solid efforts from three players. Doron Lamb netted 19 points to pace John Calipari's squad in defeat, while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 18 points and nine rebounds. As for Marquis Teague, he provided 15 points and five assists for a team that starts three freshmen and two sophomores. Lamb is netting 14.9 ppg this season on the strength of his deadly 51.4 percent shooting from three-point range, while Terrence Jones adds 13.8 ppg and 6.8 rpg to the mix. Kidd-Gilchrist checks in with 12.8 ppg and 7.3 rpg, while Anthony Davis (11.6 ppg, 9.1 rpg) and Teague (10.8 ppg, 38 assists) round out a group of five double-digit scorers. Kentucky is posting 81.2 ppg while holding opponents to 58.8 ppg on 33.7 percent field goal efficiency.