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UNC Asheville (19-8) at Ohio University (20-6)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 18th, 7:00 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (13,080) -- Athens, Ohio. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: UNCA 10-2, Ohio 14-1. Away Record: UNCA 8-4, Ohio 6-5. Neutral Record: UNCA 1-2, Ohio 0-0. Conference Record: UNCA 14-2, Ohio 8-4. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: Having already clinched the Big South Conference regular-season title, the UNC Asheville Bulldogs will step outside of league play tonight to do battle with the Ohio University Bobcats of the Mid-American Conference as part of the annual BracketBusters event.

The Bulldogs are assured of playing in at least the NIT if they don't win the Big South Tournament and advance to the NCAA Tournament. They're coming off a 74-69 loss at Coastal Carolina on Tuesday night. That snapped a six-game win streak. Matt Dickey led Asheville with 19 points, while Jeremy Atkinson finished with 16 points and nine rebounds. Dickey is now tied for third on the school's career scoring list. He and Paul Allen are even with 1,693 points. J.P. Primm added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Bulldogs, while Jaron Lane scored all 12 of his points in the second half. Dickey leads the team with 17.1 ppg and Primm is second at 15.5 ppg. Chris Stephenson, who was held out of the second half of the last game due to an injury, is the third-leading scorer (13.0 ppg). Lane (12.6 ppg) and Atkinson (10.8 ppg) also average double figures. Atkinson (6.7 rpg) leads the team in rebounding. Asheville is ranked fourth nationally in scoring with an 82.3 ppg average.

The Bobcats are coming off a 72-59 win at home over Bowling Green. D.J. Cooper scored a game-high 22 points for Ohio. Cooper made good on 7-of-14 shots from the floor and pulled down five rebounds for the Bobcats as they snapped a two- game slide. OU was guilty of 15 turnovers on the night, but made up for those miscues by beating BGSU on the glass by a 43-26 margin. Ohio leads the nation in steals per contest (9.0) and displays excellent defense out on the perimeter, holding opponents to 29 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Cooper leads the team in scoring (13.9 ppg) and Walter Offutt is second (11.7 ppg), with Ivo Baltic (10.0 ppg) ranks third.

Asheville has not recorded a non-conference road win this year as the Bulldogs are 0-3 in such affairs. Those losses occurred against NC State, Tennessee and Western Carolina. However, should the Bulldogs win, they'll set a school Division I record for road victories with nine. It'll be a tough task against a team that is 3-0 at home in the BracketBusters event. Additionally, the Bobcats are 14-1 at home this season and are beating opponents by an average of 11.7 ppg. With a victory tonight in the first-ever meeting against the Bulldogs, Ohio would log its most home wins ever during a single season.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ohio University 83, UNC Asheville 78

02/18 10:32:19 ET