UMKC (1-1) vs. Albany (2-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 17, 2:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mohegan Sun Arena (10,000) -- Uncasville, Connecticut. Television: None. Home Record: UMKC 1-0, Albany 1-0. Away Record: UMKC 0-1, Albany 1-1. Neutral Record: UMKC 0-0, Albany 0-0. Conference Record: UMKC 0-0, Albany 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The first-ever meeting between the UMKC Kangaroos and the Albany Great Danes takes place today in the Springfield Bracket of the quarterfinal round of the 2012 Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.
UMKC, a member of the Summit League, is led by head coach Matt Brown who is in his sixth season with the program. The team tipped off the 2012-13 campaign last week at Seton Hall and was pummeled by the Pirates in a 75-36 final. Returning home, the 'Roos captured their first win of the campaign with a 99-64 final versus Lincoln.
As for the Great Danes, their first game of the season was a close battle against Duquesne at home, but in the end the squad pulled off the 69-66 victory last Friday. Two days later the team was crushed by fourth-ranked Ohio State (82-60) but then bounced back with a narrow 63-62 triumph versus Washington on the road.
Both programs will be back in action again on Sunday, with the winner going up against the winner of the Norfolk State/Loyola-Maryland meeting and the losers also pairing off.
By scoring 99 points against Lincoln in the last outing, you'd expect there to be several high-scoring efforts on behalf of UMKC players, but as it turns out the 'Roos were more interested in spreading the wealth. In fact, only Kirk Korver scored in double figures, as he tallied 17 points on an impressive 5- of-6 shooting behind the three-point line. All 13 players that saw action scored and no one played more than 22 minutes. The team was charged with 18 turnovers, but managed to overcome those miscues by shooting 60.3 percent from the floor, 9-of-17 beyond the arc and 20-of-24 at the free-throw line, not to mention owning a 47-24 edge on the glass. It has been just two games for UMKC, but already the trend seems to be to get as many people involved in the action as possible. Korver is the lone double-digit scorer with 11.5 ppg.
It wasn't pretty, particularly in the first half when the team shot just 9- of-25 from the floor, but eventually the Great Danes got their act together against Washington at Alaska Airlines Arena, a venue that has not been kind to visitors, as they slipped by with the one-point win. Mike Black, who converted the game-winning layup, led all scorers with 22 points, adding six assists and five rebounds, followed by Jacob Iati with 20 points and he knocked down 6- of-12 shots behind the three-point line. But while Iati was hitting more than his share of perimeter shots, the rest of the team combined to make only 1- of-7 on the outside. Black is not only the top scorer for the team in the early going with his 19.0 ppg, he also recently became just the 10th player in school history to register his 300th assist. One of six players to be named to the Preseason All-Conference First Team in the America East, Black is also the league's active leading scorer with 1,081 points.
With Black heading the attack for the Danes, UMKC had better be ready to keep the stronger players on the floor for extended periods of time if it hopes to make this a competitive meeting.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Albany 75, UMKC 68
11/17 10:30:36 ET