Morgan State (7-5) vs. Long Island (4-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, December 30th, 6:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: McKenzie Arena (11,218) -- Chattanooga, Tennessee. Television: None. Home Record: Morgan St. 3-0, Long Island 4-1. Away Record: Morgan St. 4-4, Long Island 0-6. Neutral Record: Morgan St. 0-1, Long Island 0-0. Conference Record: Morgan St. 1-0, Long Island 2-0. Series Record: Long Island leads, 3-2.
GAME NOTES: The Morgan State Bears and the Long Island Blackbirds are set to collide in the consolation game of the Dr. Pepper Classic.
Morgan State took on Eastern Kentucky as part of this event last night, and the result of that clash was a 76-62 defeat. The Bears had a modest two-game win streak halted, and they are now 7-5 overall.
Long Island has lost its last four games to fall to 4-7 overall, overshadowing a 2-0 record against teams from its NEC. Last night, the Blackbirds fell to the host team of this tournament, Chattanooga, in a 76-59 final. The club has lost all six of its games away from home thus far, not exactly a reason for confidence heading into this evening's affair.
Long Island owns a 3-2 series lead over Morgan State, and the most recent meeting took place in 1994.
Reggie Holmes is one of the nation's top scorers, as the Morgan State standout is generating 24.9 ppg to go along with 26 steals. There is only one other double-digit scorer in the lineup for the Bears, as Kevin Thompson checks in with 14.5 ppg and 13.0 rpg. Morgan State is generating 77.1 ppg, almost identical to the 77.4 ppg that the team is surrendering. The Bears are outrebounding foes by over five boards per game, but their 40.4 percent shooting from the field has been problematic. Against Eastern Kentucky last night, Holmes finished with 25 points, although his 8-of-25 shooting effort from the field was far from impressive. Thompson finished with 14 points and nine rebounds for the Bears, who misfired on 10 of their 19 foul shots and finished 7-of-26 from three-point range.
Long Island connected on only 39.7 percent of its field goal attempts against Chattanooga yesterday, and a 5-of-16 effort from the foul line was downright embarrassing. Also problematic was the fact that the Blackbirds turned the ball over 17 times. Michael Culpo led the way in defeat with 16 points, while David Hicks pitched in 12 points. Kyle Johnson contributed 10 points and 11 rebounds for Long Island, which is scoring 66.4 ppg this season on 40.1 percent field goal efficiency. The Blackbirds are surrendering 72.6 ppg to opponents despite outrebounding those foes by exactly five boards per contest. Jaytornah Wisseh is the only double-digit scorer on the roster with his 17.9 ppg, and he has handed out 50 assists. Unfortunately, he didn't play against Chattanooga and was sorely missed.
Expect Morgan State to win a close game today. Holmes will shoot the ball more efficiently than he did last night.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Morgan State 70, Long Island 65
12/30 10:31:48 ET