Denver (14-4) at U-L-M (2-17)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 19th, 8:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Faint-Ewing Coliseum (8,000) -- Monroe, Louisiana. Television: Local. Home Record: Denver 9-2, ULM 0-9. Away Record: Denver 5-2, ULM 2-8. Neutral Record: Denver 0-0, ULM 0-0. Conference Record: Denver 4-1, ULM 1-5. Series Record: Denver leads 8-4.
GAMES NOTES: Winless at home, ULM will try to do a better job of protecting its hardwood, when the Warhawks host Denver in Sunbelt Conference action from Faint-Ewing Coliseum.
Denver is off to the best start in the team's history in Division I play, which dates back to 1903. The Pioneers have also compiled a 5-2 record on the road after collecting only six total road wins in the previous five seasons. Denver has also won three of four overall entering this game. The Pioneers travel to the Lone Star State to take on North Texas after taking on ULM.
The wins have been few and far between for ULM. The Warhawks have lost 11 of their last 12 games and have put together just a 2-17 record on the season. ULM did manage to capture a victory in conference when it beat FIU 54-50 on January 7th. After playing Denver the Warhawks take on Troy.
There have only been 12 meetings between these two schools and Denver has the advantage at 8-4, including wins in six of the last seven meetings.
Denver has been able to get off to such a fast start by playing an efficient, although not high-scoring brand of basketball. The Pioneers average just 67.6 points per game, fifth in the Sun Belt but are one of the best passing and shooting squads in the conference. The Pioneers dish out a Sunbelt leading 16.1 assists per game and are the second best shooting team in the conference netting 49.2 percent of their field goal attempts. On defense Denver stifles the ball movement it has so much success with, by allowing just 8.5 assists per game, the fourth best mark in the nation. In the win over Western Kentucky, the Pioneers shot 59.6 percent from the floor and had 20 assists as a team. Sophomore guard Chris Udofia (14.4 ppg, 2.9 apg) had a season-high 11 assists in the win and is one of four Pioneers to average at least two assists per game. Senior guard Brian Stafford is the team's best scorer at 14.6 points per game and a team high 47.4 percent shooting from three point range. Stafford had 15 points in the win over Western Kentucky and has now scored in double figures in three straight games.
As would be expected of a 2-17 squad, ULM struggles on offense averaging a conference worst 58.7 points per game. The Warhawks have been held under 60 points in eight games this season and have failed to get over 40 in three of those games. ULM's problems stem from poor shooting, as the Warhawks hit on just 40.4 percent of their field goal attempts. Senior guard Fred Brown leads the team at 12.6 points and 2.4 assists per game but shoots just 36.6 percent from the floor. Sophomore guard Charles Winborne (10.8 ppg) while not as prolific a scorer is a better shooter hitting on 46.7 percent of his field goal attempts and a team-leading 44.2 percent from three point range. Winborne had 15 points in the team's most recent loss to North Texas. It is the fourth time in there games he has scored in double figures. Sophomore center Steven McClellan is really the only low post threat, scoring 9.0 points and bringing down a team high 7.7 rebounds per game.
Denver has proven that it can win on the road this season and against a team that will not be able to keep up with them offensively or limit them on defense, the Pioneers should win easily.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Denver 66, ULM 52
01/19 10:39:28 ET