Being better just not enough for Mocs

Being better just not enough for Mocs

February 1st, 2012 by David Uchiyama in Sports - College

UTC head basketball coach John Shulman paces on the sidelines at McKenzie arena.

UTC head basketball coach John Shulman paces on...

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has lost five straight basketball games.

All five defeats came in the final minute with the last three delivered in the final possession by Southern Conference opponents.

The Mocs went from 3-2 and second place in the SoCon North Division to 3-7 and sharing the cellar with Western Carolina.

"We're playing good basketball. We're just not playing good enough basketball," coach John Shulman said. "I like this team a lot more than last year's team, and yet we're at two different points."

The 2010-11 Mocs were 8-2 through 10 SoCon games, finished 10-8 and shared the division crown with WCU.

"I think this year's team is better than last year's team," Shulman said. "So, go figure. Hopefully some good things will happen to us."

UTC will play at WCU on Thursday in a battle between the two preseason favorites in the North Division.

"Our thought of the day is, 'Adversity introduces a man to himself,'" Shulman said. "So we're getting introduced to ourselves and we'll see what we're made out of."

Streaking Spartans

UNC Greensboro has won six straight games and matched its longest run during the 2007-08 season. A win Thursday would be the longest streak since the 1995-96 season when current leading scorer Trevis Simpson was 5 years old.

The current run, matched only by Wofford, has the Spartans (8-14, 6-4) in first place of the SoCon North Division.

The streak comes after UNCG lost 11 straight games under former coach Mike Dement and interim coach Wes Miller, whose career record now stands at 6-6.

"We're not talking about winning streaks," Miller said. "We don't do it the easy way. There were two overtime games, and there were ups and downs. We're not going to look at the standings until the last day of the season when they hand out seeds."

Coach gets first win

College of Charleston interim coach Mark Byington became the second SoCon coach to earn his first career victory this month when the Cougars won 68-52 Monday at Samford (7-14, 4-6).

Byington has taken over the Cougars (13-9, 5-6) for Bobby Cremins, who took a medical leave of absence last week. UNCG's Miller got his first win earlier this month.

"I feel bad for Bob," Samford coach Jimmy Tillette said. "I talked to Mark about it and he says [Cremins] is going to be OK.

"I wasn't as congratulatory as I should have been to Mark. He's doing this, maybe, temporarily. I hope Bobby can be back if he chooses to."

Armstrong repeats

UNCG guard Derrell Armstrong repeated as SoCon player of the week on Tuesday. He averaged 25 points, seven rebounds and three assists in overtime wins against App State and WCU.

Only Armstrong and Davidson's Jake Cohen (three times) has won the award more than once this season.