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UTC (13-8, 4-4 SoCon) at SAMFORD (8-14, 2-6)

Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. EST in Birmingham

 

TV & Radio: ESPN+ & 97.7 FM/1070 AM

 

Storyline: It's the Mocs' first rematch of the Southern Conference season, and it's one they should feel confident about going in. Coach Lamont Paris is working to keep his squad from being overconfident, though, after a 105-67 blowout win less than three weeks ago at McKenzie Arena on a day the Mocs shot nearly 60% from the field. Of course, UTC is just 1-3 on the road in league games, so there is plenty of motivation to stay focused. The Bulldogs have lost six straight games, but any team with a guard like Josh Sharkey (18 points per game, nearly seven assists) is dangerous, as he proved last year in leading Samford to a comeback overtime win in this game. Keeping him off the free-throw line is a priority since Sharkey has 103 makes this year.

 

What's at stake? Plenty. Three games separate first-place East Tennessee State from UTC and Mercer tied for sixth at 4-4. Road wins likely will determine which teams earn top-four finishes and those that don't. The Mocs can't let winnable games like this get away with trips still to come to Wofford and Furman.

 

Up next: The Mocs return Saturday to McKenzie Arena to host Western Carolina as part of Reunion Weekend, tipoff at 2.

Contact Lindsey Young at lyoung@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6296. Follow him on Twitter @youngsports22.

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