Idaho State (9-16) at Pacific (10-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 18th, 8:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alex G. Spanos Center (6,150) -- Stockton, California. Television: None. Home Record: ISU 5-6, Pacific 7-6. Away Record: ISU 4-10, Pacific 3-9. Neutral Record: ISU 0-0, Pacific 0-0. Conference Record: ISU 7-6, Pacific 6-7. Series Record: Series is tied, 3-3.
GAME NOTES: A couple of teams fighting through disappointing seasons get together in Stockton, California tonight, as the Pacific Tigers host the Idaho State Bengals as part of the annual BracketBusters event.
Pacific has taken part in this event every year since 2005 and has three wins, against four losses, the latest setback coming a year ago in a 79-63 final versus Oral Roberts in Oklahoma. In terms of this year, the Tigers are stuck in the middle of the pack in the Big West Conference standings with a record of 6-7. The team last took the floor on Tuesday night and lost to UC Davis on the road in a 73-64 final.
As for the Bengals, members of the Big Sky Conference, they've been waiting to get back to action for a week after defeating Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, 79-73. The victory snapped a two-game slide for the program and now the team is in a tie with Portland State for third place in the standings at 7-6 and have locked in a spot in the conference tournament as well.
With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, the series is knotted at three games apiece, but the last of those meetings took place more than 20 years ago.
Kenny McGowen exploded for 37 points, hitting 7-of-12 shots behind the three- point line and 12-of-22 from the floor overall in 30 minutes of action in the win over NAU for the Bengals. Sherrod Baldwin added 13 points, Melvin Morgan 11 and five assists and Andre' Hatchett 10 points and seven rebounds for the visitors to the Rolle Activity Center. McGowen's scoring burst was rather unexpected, given that he is shooting just 37.4 percent from the field and is still averaging a mere 13.8 ppg over 25 appearances. Other players listed as double-digit scorers for the Bengals are Chase Grabau and Morgan with 13.3 and 11.5 ppg, respectively, but the former has missed some action because of a concussion and is again listed as questionable for this outing as well.
Lorenzo McCloud recorded a team-best 14 points for the Tigers in their stop at UC Davis earlier this week, but the team as a whole made just 40.4 percent from the floor and a dismal 3-of-17 shots behind the three-point line in the nine-point loss. Khalil Kelley and Travis Fulton both dropped in another 12 points for the program, the latter shooting just 5-of-15 from the floor. Ross Rivera, who came off the bench and tallied nine points before fouling out in the last game, leads the team in scoring with his 11.0 ppg, nailing close to 52 percent of his field goal attempts. McCloud checks in with 10.7 ppg, but in his case he is shooting just 36.6 percent from the floor which is why the team overall is down at 40.1 percent at this stage of the season.
The chances of McGowen having another monster scoring effort tonight are slim and with that the odds of the Bengals coming out ahead diminish considerably.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Pacific 65, Idaho State 58
02/18 10:32:33 ET