Despite being 1-0 on the young season, the Chattanooga Mocs are decided underdogs in Thursday night's CBE Hall of Fame Classic clash with the seventh-ranked Kansas Jayhawks.
Chattanooga won its season opener on Monday by taking an 88-53 decision from National Christian College Athletic Association foe Tennessee Temple at home. The Mocs, who play their basketball out of the Southern Conference, are a mere 3-47 all-time against ranked Division I foes. Following this bout, the Mocs return home to begin play in the Chattanooga Regional of the CBE Classic.
Kansas opened its season with a 74-55 rout of Southeast Missouri State, but then dropped a 67-64 decision to Michigan State on Tuesday night at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The Jayhawks will face plenty of tough opponents this season, both during their non-conference schedule as well as once Big 12 Conference play begins versus Iowa State on Jan. 9, 2013.
Kansas won both previous matchups between these two teams, with the most recent being a 90-76 decision on Nov. 21, 2003.
Chattanooga got 16 points from Z Mason and 11 points and eight rebounds from Drazen Zlovaric, as the Mocs routed Tennessee Temple earlier in the week. Freshman Farad Cobb set a new UTC freshman record by recording six steals. The Mocs controlled the glass with relative ease, 49-28, and Cobb's six steals were just a sampling of the school-record 23 thefts the Mocs had on the night. Cobb and his teammates forced 35 TTU turnovers, turning them into 44 points. Chattanooga shot just 41.4 percent from the floor, but held Tennessee Temple to 40.0 percent field goal efficiency, which included a dismal 6-of-22 effort from three-point range. A resounding 28-11 edge in points from the foul line certainly helped the Mocs' cause.
Kansas hit 50 percent of its field goal attempts in its recent game against Michigan State, but the Spartans were a tad better at 52.1 percent, and the Jayhawks dropped a narrow decision as a result. Elijah Johnson and Ben McLemore were the only two KU players to score in double digits, netting 16 and 14 points, respectively. Unfortunately, coach Bill Self's squad was guilty of 16 giveaways while losing the rebounding battle by a 31-25 margin. Jeff Withey was the team's top producer in the opener against SEMO, logging a double-double consisting of 17 points and 12 rebounds, and freshmen Perry Ellis (15 points, eight boards) and McLemore (nine points, 12 caroms) nearly turned the same trick for a Kansas squad that shot just 38.7 percent from the floor, and missed 19 of its 21 three-point tries. Its opponent made good on only 29.0 percent of its total shots, which included a 4-of-16 showing from beyond the arc.