Southern Utah (1-4) vs. Houston Baptist (0-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 27th, 4:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Sullivan Arena (8,700) -- Anchorage, Alaska. Television: None. Home Record: S. Utah 0-2, HBU 0-1. Away Record: S. Utah 1-0, HBU 0-2. Neutral Record: S. Utah 0-2, HBU 0-2. Conference Record: S. Utah 0-0, HBU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Southern Utah Thunderbirds are set to tangle with the Houston Baptist Huskies in the final round of the Great Alaska Shootout.
Southern Utah, a member of the Summit League, has lost its last three outings and is 1-4 overall this season. The squad dropped a 78-59 decision to Drake on Wednesday to open play at this event, as shaky play at both ends of the floor led to the defeat. It was more of the same for the Thunderbirds yesterday, as they suffered a 73-54 loss to Ball State.
As for Houston Baptist, it fell short against the host team of this event, Alaska-Anchorage, by a 74-67 final yesterday. On Thursday, the Huskies faced Arizona State of the Pac-10 Conference to open tourney play, and the result of that affair was a 73-55 setback. They are still in search of their first win of the season, as they have lost all five games. In fact, yesterday's seven- point setback is the closest they've come to tasting victory.
This game marks the first-ever meeting between Southern Utah and Houston Baptist on the hardwood.
It isn't hard to identify the reasons why Southern Utah fell short against Ball State on Friday. The Thunderbirds permitted the Cardinals to shoot 62.5 percent from the floor in the first half and 57.1 percent overall. Southern Utah, which made good on 43.2 percent of its total shots, finished 1-of-13 from three-point range and turned the ball over 19 times. The setback overshadowed a 29-23 rebounding advantage for the Thunderbirds, who were led in defeat by Ray Jones' 16 points. Matt Massey pitched in 14 points for Southern Utah, which is only averaging 60.2 ppg on 40.9 percent field goal efficiency. The team is surrendering 70.8 ppg to opponents, and that negative scoring differential is in spite of a positive rebounding differential of 5.2 rpg. Jones is netting 12.2 ppg, but his 39 percent overall shooting needs to be improved. Ramell Taylor, a 53.2 percent shooter, provides 11.6 ppg.
In the seven-point loss to Alaska-Anchorage yesterday, Houston Baptist turned the ball over 19 times and was outscored 18-9 from the charity stripe. Those were the two most obvious reasons for defeat, as the Huskies held their own in most other major statistical categories. Michael Moss netted 15 points to pace the starters, and T.J. Berry added 15 of his own off the bench. Rounding out a trio of double-digit scorers was Miles Dixon with 11 points. Andrew Gonzalez, who had just five points in that game, leads Houston Baptist with 20.5 ppg through five outings. Dixon adds 12.2 ppg to the mix as the only other double- digit scorer on the roster. The Huskies are netting 67.6 ppg while surrendering 78.8 ppg.
Give a narrow edge to Southern Utah in this game, as Houston Baptist obviously hasn't shown the ability to win a game yet. This tilt could be decided in the final minute.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Southern Utah 65, Houston Baptist 63
11/27 11:02:21 ET