Western Kentucky (8-16) at Troy (7-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 11th, 2:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Trojan Arena (4,000) -- Troy, Alabama. Television: HSSN. Home Record: Western Kentucky 5-7, Troy 5-6. Away Record: Western Kentucky 3-6, Troy 2-9. Neutral Record: Western Kentucky 0-3, Troy 0-0. Conference Record: Western Kentucky 4-7, Troy 2-9. Series Record: Western Kentucky leads 8-6.
GAMES NOTES: Two teams on the bottom looking up in the Sun Belt Conference will clash when Western Kentucky and Troy face off at Trojan Arena.
Western Kentucky is one of the longest tenured teams in the Sun Belt, while Troy is still a relative newcomer having joining in 2005 so the conference opponents have met just 14 times in their history. The Hilltoppers have the narrow edge 8-6.
Western Kentucky won back-to-back games for only the second time this season but was unable to get three straight wins by taking a 72-64 loss to Middle Tennessee on Thursday. The Hilltoppers are now 4-7 which is tied with FIU for fourth in the East Division. Western Kentucky will be at home in three of its final four games beginning against Florida Atlantic.
Troy has been able to win three straight this season but that was all the way back at the end of November. Recently the Trojans have been stringing losses together instead including defeats in four straight. Troy is at the bottom of the East Division with a 2-9 record in conference play and will be on the road against Arkansas State in its next outing.
Western Kentucky kept it close against the conferences top team in the loss to Middle Tennessee on Thursday. The Hilltoppers limited the Blue Raiders to just 38.8 percent shooting in the game but couldn't take advantage as they managed only 33.8 percent themselves.
The poor night from the floor for Western Kentucky was just another game in a long line of bad offensive games for the Hilltoppers. On the season Western Kentucky is averaging just 63.2 points per game and shooting a conference worst 38.4 percent from the floor. Freshman guard Derrick Gordon (11.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg) is the only player averaging in double figures for the Hilltoppers but had only nine points against Middle Tennessee. It was T.J. Price who led the team on offense against the Blue Raiders scoring 14 points to lift his season average to 8.8 points per game. Price has now scored in double figures in three straight games. Freshman forward George Fant (9.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg) had his first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds against Middle Tennessee.
Troy has not played since last Saturday when the Trojans took an 83-78 setback at home to Louisiana. Troy fell off of the pace of Louisiana which shot 47.5 percent from the floor in the game including 9-of-22 from the three point line but kept itself in the game by forcing 23 turnovers. The Trojans shot 40.9 percent from the floor and 4-of-10 from beyond the arc in the loss.
Troy is a markedly better offense than its opponent in this matchup scoring 70.6 points per game which is second in the conference. The Trojans don't shoot well however with the conferences 10th worst field goal percentage (40.2 %). What has hampered the Trojans is their inability to stop other teams from scoring as they allow 75.0 points per game. Troy is led by a pair of scorers putting in just around 12 points per game. Will Weathers (11.7 ppg) is the teams leader after putting in 22 points against Louisiana. It is the second time in the last four games he has scored at least 20 points and the fifth time overall this season. Justin Wright (11.3 ppg) is the second scorer for Troy while Emil Jones (9.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg) is the team's leading rebounder as swell as a decent scoring option.
Troy gets the nod in this one thanks to its far superior offense and the fact that the Trojans will benefit from the homecourt advantage.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Troy 66, Western Kentucky 62
02/11 10:46:37 ET