Morehead State (15-13) at Bowling Green (13-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 18th, 2:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stroh Center (5,000) -- Bowling Green, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: MSU 7-4, BGSU 9-3. Away Record: MSU 6-8, BGSU 4-9. Neutral Record: MSU 2-1, BGSU 0-0. Conference Record: MSU 8-6, BGSU 7-5. Series Record: BGSU leads, 4-3.
GAME NOTES: Stepping away from their respective conference slates, the Morehead State Eagles and the Falcons of Bowling Green collide on the hardwood this afternoon as part of the BracketBuster event at the Stroh Center.
Morehead State has notched victories in two straight and three of its last five, and enters this affair with a 15-13 overall tally to its 2011-12 slate. The Eagles earned a hard-fought 52-48 verdict at Austin Peay on Wednesday night to improve to 8-6 in the Ohio Valley Conference.
As for Bowling Green, the Falcons had a four-game win streak snapped in a 72-59 setback at Ohio on Wednesday evening, leaving the club with an underwhelming 13-12 overall ledger. The Falcons own a 7-5 mark in the Mid- American Conference, and return to that portion of their schedule on Wednesday evening at Akron.
BGSU owns a 4-3 edge in the brief all-time series between the two programs.
The Eagles closed out the meeting against Austin Peay on an 11-3 run to secure a solid come-from-behind win. MSU shot at a meager 37.2 percent clip during the meeting, but were paced by a 16-of-17 performance at the charity stripe and a sound defensive effort that saw the club limit APSU to 41.9 percent from the field in addition to a game-high 13 forced turnovers. Drew Kelly scored 11 points and collected a game-high eight rebounds to lead the way for MSU, while Deandre Mathieu helped to pace the squad with a 10-point contribution. MSU is led by Ty Proffitt (10.0 points per game), and Terrance Hill (13.3 ppg) this season. The Eagles average just 62.5 ppg on the year with a 42.8 team shooting percentage, and have had moderate success from both beyond the arc (36.3 percent) as well as at the foul line (74.6 percent). MSU can credit the vast majority of its success this year to the other end of the court, however, where the club has kept opponents in check to the tune of 62.4 ppg on 44.1 percent from the field. The squad has also forced 420 turnovers through 27 contests (15.6 per contest), and owns a slight 31.1-28.9 edge on the glass.
The Falcons didn't have their act together during the opening stanza against Ohio, as the squad fell behind, 28-26, heading into the break thanks to an underwhelming 40.7 percent shooting clip. But things really fell apart during the second frame, when BGSU was limited to a meager 38.5 percent pace that included just 3-of-11 from beyond the arc. The club was outscored by a 44-33 margin during the frame, which really puts a 10-for-10 effort at the foul line into real perspective. Overall, the Falcons hit only 4-of-18 three-pointers, and shot 39.6 percent from the field. Scott Thomas scored 17 points to lead the way for BGSU in the losing effort, while Dee Brown and Jordon Crawford chipped in 15 and 11 points, respectively. BGSU has yielded just 63.6 ppg to opponents this season, with those adversaries held in line to a meager 43.4 percent from the field. The Falcons net only 66.7 ppg themselves despite a respectable 45.7 team-shooting percentage, but the squad does boast four players with a double figure scoring average. A'uston Calhoun leads the way for MSU with a 13.4 ppg tally, while Thomas follows closely behind with his 12.1 ppg. Thomas also owns a team-leading 6.6 rebounds per game mark, while Crawford and Brown have been responsible for 10.8 and 10.2 ppg, respectively, this season.
The Falcons get the nod at home here. MSU won't be a pushover though, so expect this one to be tightly contested throughout, and possibly right down to the wire. Both squads play relatively stingy defense, which should result in a low-scoring affair.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Bowling Green 63, Morehead State 61
02/18 10:46:20 ET