Kennesaw State (2-8) vs. Tennessee Tech (6-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, December 22nd, 5:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Orleans Arena (9,500) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: None. Home Record: Kennesaw St. 1-1, Tennessee Tech 4-2. Away Record: Kennesaw St. 1-7, Tennessee Tech 2-3. Neutral Record: Kennesaw St. 0-0, Tennessee Tech 0-0. Conference Record: Kennesaw St. 0-0, Tennessee Tech 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Kennesaw State Owls and the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles will meet tonight at Orleans Arena as part of the Las Vegas Classic.
Losses in six consecutive outings have dropped Kennesaw State to 2-8 overall and 0-2 in Atlantic Sun Conference action. On Monday, the Owls dropped a 74-51 decision to non-conference foe Saint Mary's-CA as part of this event.
As for Tennessee Tech, it carried a three-game win streak into Monday's matchup with West Virginia, but that affair ended in a 72-53 defeat. The Golden Eagles are now 6-5 overall and have yet to begin Ohio Valley Conference play.
This game marks the first-ever meeting between Kennesaw State and Tennessee Tech on the hardwood.
Kennesaw State was clearly overmatched in Monday's matchup with Saint Mary's, as the Owls yielded 50 percent shooting to the Gaels while being outrebounded by a 37-29 margin. SMC finished with 22 assists against only eight turnovers, while Kennesaw State registered a mere 13 assists while committing 16 giveaways. The fact that the Owls finished with only three points from the foul line obviously hurt the cause as well. Delbert Love led the way in defeat with 12 points, and Aaron Anderson registered 10 points and 11 boards. Through 10 games, the Owls are scoring only 59.8 ppg on 39.8 percent shooting from the field, and they are allowing 79.1 ppg to opponents on 50.2 percent field goal efficiency. Markeith Cummings paces Kennesaw State with 17.4 ppg, but he was held to seven points by Saint Mary's. Spencer Dixon, who was also quiet last time out, is averaging 12.1 ppg.
Tennessee Tech relies heavily on the duo of Kevin Murphy and Jud Dillard to be productive every time the team takes the floor. Murphy is racking up 19.7 ppg on the strength of his 41.5 percent shooting from three-point range, and he is pulling down 5.3 rpg. As for Dillard, he supplies 16.4 ppg to go along with a team-best 8.6 rpg. Thanks in large part to the efforts of those two standouts, the Golden Eagles are scoring a solid 71.8 ppg, although they are surrendering 73.3 ppg to opponents. Dillard managed 15 points and 10 rebounds against West Virginia on Monday, but Murphy was held to seven points on 2-of-11 shooting from the floor. The team shot 33.9 percent overall, which included a dismal 1- of-15 effort from three-point range.
Expect a bounce-back effort from Murphy tonight, as he will be the best player on the court for either team in what figures to be a Tennessee Tech victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tennessee Tech 71, Kennesaw State 60
12/22 10:37:44 ET