College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, January 6, 2014
Saddled with two early fouls, Z. Mason got off to a slow start, but his second half outburst carried the Mocs to an 82-78 victory at the Citadel.
Mason, Chattanooga's leading scorer and rebounder, hit just two of nine shots and ended the first half with four points, well below his 19.1 ppg average. His poor shooting and lack of scoring helped Citadel to a 42-34 lead at the break.
The second half would prove to be a different story, as Mason, a 6'6" senior forward, led the Mocs back, scoring 26 of his 30 points in the final 20 minutes, also wiping the glass with abandon for a game-high 14 boards.
After his horribly slow start, in the second half, Mason was 8-for-12 from the field with a pair of threes. He also hit eight of nine from the foul line and finished the game with two assists, two steals and three blocked shots. It was Mason's fifth straight double-double and sixth of the season.
After tying the game at 60-all midway through the half, the Mocs and the Citadel exchanged leads, with Chattanooga finally going up for good at 79-78 on a Casey Jones jumper with 50 seconds left to play. A Greg Pryor free throw and two more by Mason with time running down sealed the deal, helping the Mocs even their record at 8-8 and remain tied with Western Carolina at 2-0 in the Southern Conference.
The Mocs return home on January 9, hosting the Samford Bulldogs (6-11, 0-2).