SMU (2-0) at Texas State (2-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 17, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Strahan Coliseum (7,200) -- San Marcos, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: SMU 1-0, Texas State 2-0. Away Record: SMU 1-0, Texas State 0-0. Neutral Record: SMU 0-0, Texas State 0-0. Conference Record: SMU 0-0, Texas State 0-0. Series Record: SMU leads, 6-1.
GAME NOTES: A pair of unbeaten teams are set to square off at Strahan Coliseum, as the Texas State Bobcats host the SMU Mustangs in a non-league clash.
SMU opened the season with a 73-58 win over Loyola Marymount this past Sunday, then followed that up with a 64-61 triumph at TCU on Thursday. Following tonight's tilt, the Mustangs will return home to kick off the Hoops For Hope Classic against Malone College on Monday.
Texas State kicked off its 2012-13 campaign with an 86-76 win over Fordham last Friday and then notched an 86-66 win over University of Texas at Tyler on Tuesday. After wrapping up their three-game homestand tonight, the Bobcats will head to Anchorage to take part in next week's Great Alaska Shootout.
SMU has won six of the seven all-time meetings with the Bobcats.
Through two games, SMU boasts three players averaging at least 15 points in the scoring column. Jalen Jones leads the way with a team-best 16.0 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per tilt, and he has even knocked down 4-of-6 3- pointers. Jones tallied a game-high 21 points to go along with eight rebounds in the win at TCU. Guards Nick Russell and Ryan Manuel are next in line with 15.5 ppg and 15.0 ppg, respectively. The Mustangs enter tonight's contest enjoying a +5.5 rebounding advantage, but they have a few other areas where they need to tighten up. They managed to win Thursday's contest despite committing 18 turnovers and missing five free throws in the final 15 seconds. An early injury to TCU junior forward Amric Fields, the reigning Mountain West Sixth Man of the Year, left the Horned Frogs shorthanded.
Matt Staff paces Texas State with 22.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per contest. Junior college transfer Joel Wright (19.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg) and Corey Stern (11.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg) have also helped out, both in the scoring column and on the boards. Whereas the Mustangs have held their own on the glass through two games, they'll face a stiff test in the paint against a Texas State squad that is +7.5 in rebounding margin thanks to the aforementioned trio. Staff and Wright have each posted double-doubles for the Bobcats, who enter the weekend having scored 86 points in each of their first two outings. Staff, the senior forward, tied a career-high with 28 points against UT-Tyler, also pulling down 11 boards in the victory. He scored nine of the team's first 14 points in the game. The Bobcats held a 24-10 scoring advantage at the foul line while also forcing 16 turnovers on the defensive end.
Texas State has looked sharp in the early going, but going from UT-Tyler to SMU brings about a major step up in competition. Look for the Mustangs, who have handled the likes of Loyola Marymount and TCU, to ride another balanced scoring attack to victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: SMU 79, Texas State 74
11/17 10:33:43 ET