Appalachian State (12-14) at High Point (11-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 19th, 7:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Millis Center (1,750) -- High Point, North Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: ASU 7-3, High Point 9-4. Away Record: ASU 5-8, High Point 2-11. Neutral Record: ASU 0-3, High Point 0-0. Conference Record: ASU 8-8, High Point 7-9. Series Record: High Point leads, 55-35.
GAME NOTES: BracketBuster weekend always brings along some intriguing games and tonight at the Millis Center is one of them, as an old rivalry will be renewed when the High Point Panthers host the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
The Mountaineers and Panthers share the same state of North Carolina, but they also share a history that has been played out on the court 90 times. This however, will be the first meeting since the 1977-78 campaign. Appalachian State won the last matchup over 30 years ago, but High Point still comes into this contest with a comfortable 55-35 edge all-time.
The Mountaineers blew a chance to keep pace in the Southern Conference's north division with an 80-75 loss to Western Carolina. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for Appalachian State, which will close out its regular season with home matchups against Charleston and the Citadel.
As for the Panthers, they snapped a two-game slide with a thrilling, 79-78, double-overtime victory over Winthrop. However, even with the win the Panthers are just 7-9 in the Big South Conference, and if the team wants to reach the .500 mark the Panthers must try to win on the road against UNC Asheville and Gardner-Webb.
During their four-game winning streak the Mountaineers buckled down defensively, holding opponents to just 66.7 ppg, which is much better than the 74.3 ppg the team is surrendering overall on the season. Clearly the improvement in that area helped the team rack up those four wins, but that stingy effort could not last forever, as the Mountaineers were abused by Western Carolina for 80 points in the recent loss. The poor defensive effort overshadowed the team's solid performance offensively, as the Mountaineers scored 75 points behind a 54.0 percent shooting effort. Donald Sims did everything he could to keep the Mountaineers in the win column, but his 30 points were not enough. Andre Williamson added 16 points, while Omar Carter contributed 14 points and nine boards, but also committed a team-high seven turnovers. Sims is pacing the team on the year with 21.2 ppg and 96 assists, while Carter is contributing 16.5 ppg, to go along with 6.0 rpg.
The Panthers will try to build off their recent win, as they pulled off a thrilling, 70-69 double-overtime decision over Winthrop, thanks to the heroics of Nick Barbour, who drained a shot at the buzzer to give High Point the win. Barbour finished with a team-high 22 points, and has been the best scoring option, averaging 17.3 ppg. Shay Shine added 19 points in the victory, and has been the only other player producing double figures on the season at 13.9 ppg. With only two guys averaging more than 10 points, it is not surprising that the Panthers come into this game with just 67.5 ppg.
There is no doubt High Point pulled off an impressive victory last time out, but it might have drained the Panthers, who will need a similar effort offensively to keep up with Sims and company.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Appalachian State 81, High Point 74
02/19 10:37:14 ET