U-L-M (2-20) at Arkansas State (9-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 2nd, 9:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (10,563) -- Jonesboro, Arkansas. Television: CSS, CST. Home Record: ULM 0-11, ASU 7-5. Away Record: ULM 2-9, ASU 2-9. Neutral Record: ULM 0-0, ASU 0-0. Conference Record: ULM 1-8, ASU 3-6. Series Record: Arkansas State leads, 29-21.
GAME NOTES: Two Sun Belt Conference teams heading in the wrong direction face off in Jonesboro tonight, as the Arkansas State Red Wolves play host to the ULM Warhawks.
ULM has lost 20 of its 22 games this season and is currently residing in the basement of the Sun Belt West Division standings. After winning their first conference game against FIU on January 7, the Warhawks have lost five straight, including a 67-60 decision to in-state rival Louisiana last Saturday.
After showing some promise early in the season, Arkansas State has been sliding lately, losing five of its last six games. The Red Wolves dropped a 76-64 decision at North Texas last Saturday to fall to 9-14 overall and 3-6 in conference.
Arkansas State owns a 29-21 advantage in the all-time series with ULM, and the Red Wolves have won four straight meetings, including a 65-63 win in the first matchup this season on New Year's Eve. Marcus Hooten's jump shot with 4.8 seconds to play proved to be the difference.
ULM possesses one of the worst offenses in the nation, scoring a dismal 58.5 ppg and the team has tallied 63 points or fewer in eight straight games. The Warhawks' shooting woes continued last Saturday, as they made good on just 40.4 percent of their field goal attempts against Louisiana. Fred Brown shined in the losing effort, netting a season-high 24 points while adding six assists, five rebounds and three steals to his stat line. Brown leads the Warhawks in scoring this season with 12.3 ppg, and while he struggles from the field (.373), he is second in the conference in free-throw percentage (.860). Charles Winborne also had a good game against Louisiana, connecting on 7-of-11 field goals for 18 points, improving upon his 11.5 ppg average. Winborne is potent from beyond the arc as well, hitting 2.0 threes per game at a 43.9 percent clip. Steven McCleelan chips in 8.7 ppg and team-leading 6.9 rpg.
Arkansas State's offense hasn't been much better than ULM's lately, scoring 64 points or less in six of its last eight games -- all loses. The Red Wolves shot just 37.7 percent from the floor in last Saturday's setback, and even their normally reliable defense let them down, as North Texas connected on 27- of-54 field goal attempts (.500). Brandon Peterson notched 17 points and 11 rebounds for his second double-double in three games. Peterson averages 9.8 ppg and is second in the Sun Belt in rebounding with 7.9 rpg. Malcoln Kirkland has been a solid running mate with Peterson in the frontcourt, contributing 12.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg, and he is second in the conference with a .557 field goal percentage. Hooten (11.7 ppg) and Trey Finn (9.9 ppg) are viable threats from the outside, with each connecting on at least 38 percent of his three-point tries.
Hosting one of the nation's worst teams is just what Arkansas State needs to break out of its funk.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arkansas State 66, ULM 58
02/02 10:34:01 ET