High Point (14-12) at Towson (10-16)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 23rd, 4:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Towson Center (5,000) -- Towson, Maryland. Television: none. Home Record: High Point 11-1, Towson 9-4. Away Record: High Point 2-10, Towson 1-12. Neutral Record: High Point 1-1, Towson 0-0. Conference Record: High Point 6-6, Towson 6-10. Series Record: First ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: Struggling teams in different conferences meet up in a BracketBuster bout today, as the Towson Tigers host the High Point Panthers at the Towson Center. High Point has experienced many peaks and valleys this season, with most of the valleys coming on the road. The Panthers have dropped three of their past four games with all three coming away from the home court. High Point thought it had a chance to tie or win the game at the free throw line on Monday, but a referee conference determined a foul in favor of High Point occurred after the buzzer, and the 55-54 decision was awarded to Coastal Carolina. The loss put the Panthers at an even 6-6 in the Big South Conference with two league games remaining. Towson has dropped five of its last six games, including an 81-67 setback at Hofstra this past Wednesday. The Tigers have won only once in 13 road contests this season, but have posted a 9-4 record at the Towson Center. In Colonial Athletic Association play, Towson has managed just six victories in 16 attempts. Tonight will be the first ever meeting between High Point and Towson.
Even though High Point lost the controversial decision against Coastal Carolina, the highlight of the game belonged to Arizona Reid, who broke the Big South Conference record for rebounds with 960 career boards. Reid pulled down eight boards to go along with 17 points, but that effort was much less effective than his 23.2-point, 11.1-rebound average. Mike Jefferson and Eugene Harris are chipping in 12.7 and 11.7 ppg, respectively, with Harris hitting 4- of-9 from behind the arc en route to logging 14 points on Monday. Jefferson ranks among the national leaders with over seven assists per game, and the squad is hitting an impressive 74.4 percent from the free throw line.
Towson's Junior Hairston is averaging a near double-double on the season with 12.7 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. Hairston logged 12 points and seven rebounds in the loss at Hofstra, but hit just 5-of-14 from the floor. Josh Thornton picked up the slack by connecting on an impressive 7-of-11 from three- point land for all 21 of his points. Thornton is hitting 44.0 percent from downtown en route to netting 12.5 ppg. The Tigers were outrebounded by 10 boards in the loss, a common trend as teams are grabbing more than four rebounds per game against them. C.C. Williams finished with 15 points and seven assists, while Tony Durant chipped in with 11 points in the losing effort.
While Reid and Hairston battle on the block, High Point's tenacious defense and solid free-throw shooting should give the Panthers enough breathing room for a much needed road win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: High Point 61, Towson 58
02/23 10:21:58 ET