Chattanooga (2-4) vs. Morehead State (5-2)
Thursday, Nov. 28, 5:30 p.m. ET
Orleans Arena (9,500) • Las Vegas, Nev.
Radio: ESPN 105.1 FM
Series Record: First meeting
Probable Chattanooga starters
G - Greg Pryor, 6-1, 195, FR (11.7 ppg, 3.6 apg, 2.0 spg)
G - Gee McGhee, 6-4, 205, SO (14.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.0 spg)
G - Casey Jones, 6-5, 200, SO (10.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg, .521 FG%)
F - Z. Mason, 6-6, 235, SR (15.2 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.1 bpg)
F - Lance Stokes, 6-7, 225, JR (4.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.5 spg)
Key reserves: Eric Robertson (6-4, 200, SO); Martynas Bareika (6-5, 215, JR); Alex Bran (6-1, 180, SO); T.J. Williams (6-8, 240, FR)
Probable Morehead State starters
G - Kareem Storey, 5-10, 190, JR (5.4 ppg, 6.6 apg, 4.6 rpg)
G - Angelo Warner, 6-2, 195, JR (16.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.6 spg, 2.6 apg)
G - Brent Arrington, 6-3, 180, SO (12.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.3 apg)
F - Drew Kelly, 6-6, 230 SR (6.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg)
C - Chad Posthumus, 6-11, 265, SR (11.4 ppg, 13.3 rpg, .529 FG%)
Key reserves: Bakari Turner (6-4, 185, SR); Billy Reader (6-10, 260, JR); Luka Pajkovic (6-3, 200, JR)
The opening tip
Chattanooga came close Friday night at Nevada, losing to the Wolf Pack 83-81 on a last-second shot. The same can not be said for Sunday night, though.
UTC, coming off its first blowout loss of the Will Wade era, were absolutely throttled by No. 22 UCLA on Sunday at historic Pauley Pavilion. In fact, “embarrassing” was the term Wade used to describe his squad’s 106-65 setback to the Bruins.
“We laid down and got beat by 40 points,” Wade said. “We need to learn from that. We have to have pride. We have to have some pride about what we are doing and have some fight.”
The Mocs still have two games remaining on their extended road trip, and they’ll need to have a short memory if they hope to salvage at least something from their four-game swing out west. Thursday’s opponent, while not quite on the Bruins’ level, will present another big challenge for UTC.
Morehead State, under the direction of second-year head coach Sean Woods, is no longer in rebuilding mode, and it’s already started to show in the win-loss column.
“We tried to change the culture a little bit and our style was different from the previous style, so it took some time,” Woods told Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. “But I’m pleased with the 15-win season that we had last year under the circumstances.”
After struggling to a 15-18 record in Woods' first season, the Eagles are off to a 5-2 start in 2013-14 with a pair of impressive wins already under their belt.
After suffering an 81-70 defeat at UCLA on Friday, they knocked off Nevada 63-58 on Sunday, and they’ve also captured wins over Mid-Continent College, East Tennessee State, Marshall and Northern Kentucky this season.
The Eagles are led by a talented front-court comprised of junior Kareem Storey (5.4 ppg, 6.6 apg), junior Angelo Warren (16.0 ppg) and sophomore Brent Arrington (12.3 ppg), but they also possess plenty of size in the post. 6-foot-11 senior Chad Posthumus, who’s averaging a double-double on the year, is the team’s leading rebounder (13.3 rpg) and third-leading scorer (11.4 ppg)
“We have to forget about this game. We have to remember what it is like to lose like this, but we have to delete this game and move on. We have to get ready for the next game and put this loss behind us.”
Chattanooga’s Martynas Bareika after the team’s 41-point loss at No. 22 UCLA
Chattanooga’s Thanksgiving Day matchup with Morehead State marks the third of five straight road games for the Mocs—four of which came on a western swing for the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational. ... It’s the second trip to Orleans Arena for Chattanooga. The squad participated in the 2006 Las Vegas Invitational, losing to Towson (56-55) before beating Prairie View A&M (79-66). ... Thursday marks the first meeting between UTC and Morehead State, but the Mocs are 80-78 against current Ohio Valley Conference members. ... Chattanooga is 95-49 in in-season tournament play, winning 33 games of those games at neutral sites. This record does not include preliminary road games such as at Nevada and at No. 22 UCLA, though.
Michael Murphy covers UTC athletics for Nooga.com. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelNooga.