Austin Peay (1-1) at DePaul (1-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 17, 2 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Allstate Arena (18,500) -- Rosemont, Illinois. Television: None. Home Record: APSU 1-0, DePaul 1-1. Away Record: APSU 0-1, DePaul 0-0. Neutral Record: APSU 0-0, DePaul 0-0. Conference Record: APSU 0-0, DePaul 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Cancun Challenge resumes on Saturday, as the DePaul Blue Demons host the Austin Peay Governors at Allstate Arena.
DePaul is hosting its second game in the tournament before heading to Moon Palace Resort for two more games on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Blue Demons are coming off a 71-59 loss to Gardner-Webb in the first round on Thursday night, which came six days after they opened their season with a 32-point win over UC Riverside.
Meanwhile, Austin Peay is looking to rebound from Tuesday's 74-54 first-round loss at Western Kentucky. The Governors, who opened their season with an 11- point win over Samford last week, will head to Cancun to play Western Carolina on Tuesday, with hopes of advancing to the championship round the following day.
This marks the first-ever meeting between these two schools on the hardwood.
Austin Peay returned only one starter from last season's 12-20 team. The high roster turnover did not slow the Governors in their season-opening win over Samford, as they shot 54 percent from the floor and hit 9-of-20 three- pointers. Of course, they were also aided by a 2-of-24 effort by the Bulldogs from beyond the arc. On Tuesday, APSU faced a much stronger Western Kentucky team that put the clamps down defensively, holding the Govs to 33-percent shooting from the floor. They committed 18 turnovers for the game and were also out-rebounded, 45-36. A.J. Lynch (10.0 ppg) finished with 15 points, while Chris Horto recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.
DePaul is led by the backcourt tandem of Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young. Melvin is averaging 17.0 points and 7.5 rebounds in the early going and scored in double figures in 16 straight games dating back to last season, while Young is scoring 15.0 ppg and has knocked down 4-of-7 threes. Melvin netted 18 points in Thursday's loss to Gardner-Webb, and Young was the team's only other player in double figures, finishing with 10 points to go along with eight rebounds. The Blue Demons were unable to overcome a tepid start, as they missed all nine of their 3-point attempts in the first half and went only 2- of-6 from the foul line. The Running' Bulldogs put the game away by hitting eight of their first 13 field-goal attempts to start the second half, stretching their lead to 16 with just under 13 minutes to play. DePaul was out-rebounded, 44-31 for the game.
Both of these teams have some work to do on the boards. The Blue Demons have a bit more scoring punch that should carry them to a win here, but they need to make some serious strides before Big East play starts.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: DePaul 68, Austin Peay 62
11/17 10:33:29 ET