Stephen F. Austin (8-3) vs. Binghamton (4-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, December 30th, 8:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: McKeon Pavilion (3,500) -- Moraga, California. Television: None. Home Record: SFA 5-1, Binghamton 2-2. Away Record: SFA 2-2, Binghamton 1-6. Neutral Record: SFA 1-0, Binghamton 1-1. Conference Record: SFA 0-0, Binghamton 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Lumberjacks of Stephen F. Austin try to make it three wins in a row tonight as they clash with the Binghamton Bearcats as part of the annual Shamrock Classic in Moraga, California.
Last night, the 'Jacks easily handled the Howard Bison in this event by a score of 73-50. The victory served as the seventh in the last eight outings for SFA, the lone loss during that stretch being a 72-69 setback at Arkansas. The Lumberjacks have lost a total of just three games this season and only the 82-42 defeat at Minnesota in the opener was one that was completely out of control.
As for the Bearcats, they were trying to win back-to-back games for the first time this season on Tuesday night, but against the Saint Mary's-CA Gaels there was little chance of that happening. In fact, Binghamton had little chance of staying competitive against the host school, bowing in an 85-57 final to mark the fourth loss in the last five games for the program.
In terms of a series history between these two schools, this game is the first ever on the hardwood.
SFA made a mere 2-of-9 shots from three-point range last night and converted a mere 13-of-22 at the free-throw line, yet the outcome was never in question as the squad ran over the Bison by 23 points. Eddie Williams led the way with 17 points and eight rebounds, Jereal Scott shot a perfect 6-of-6 from the field as he added 14 points in just 15 minutes, while Will Reinke tacked on 11 points in a reserve role. This team has had a different leading scorer in each of the last four games, which gives the Lumberjacks some flexibility when it comes to calling on one or two players to take the lead on offense. Williams is first on the list with his 14.2 ppg, leads with 26 steals and is among the team leaders with 4.8 rpg and 33 assists over 11 games. The one area in which SFA could stand some improvement is getting better looks behind the three- point line on offense and making sure opponents don't continue to convert 41.5 percent of their three-point attempts.
Less than three minutes into the meeting with the Gaels last night, Binghamton was down 9-2 and was never a threat after that, the visitors shooting just 37.9 percent from the field for the entire contest and missing all 14 attempts behind the three-point line, not to mention turning the ball over 15 times. Greer Wright was the lone double-digit scorer for the group with his 15 points, the only player to make more than three field goals while teammates Dylan Talley and Moussa Camara combined to shoot a feeble 3-of-18 from the floor. Wright, the leading scorer in the last three games for the Bearcats, is producing 13.4 ppg, although his mere 30 percent accuracy from the three-point line has brought the entire unit down to only 29.6 percent over the first 13 games of the season. Talley, a reserve for the first time this season last night, accounts for another 10.9 ppg for a team that is generating just 57.8 ppg, due in part to a mere 62.1 percent at the free-throw line.
Without much scoring support from teammates, Greer is going to have a tough time carrying the load for the Bearcats tonight, so assume that SFA will come away with the win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Stephen F. Austin 71, Binghamton 55
12/30 10:30:45 ET