UNC-Asheville (1-3) vs. Providence (2-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 18, 11 a.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Coliseo Ruben Rodriquez (12,000) -- Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Television: ESPN3. Home Record: UNCA 1-0, Providence 2-0. Away Record: UNCA 0-1, Providence 0-0. Neutral Record: UNCA 0-2, Providence 0-2. Conference Record: UNCA 0-0, Providence 0-0. Series Record: Providence leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The 2012 Puerto Rico Tip-Off gets an early jump on the day as the UNC-Asheville Bulldogs and the Providence Friars compete in the seventh-place game in the championship round at Coliseo Ruben Rodriquez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
The Friars certainly started off the 2012-13 campaign in positive fashion as they defeated NJIT and Bryant at home, but this trip has caused the team to fall to .500 after four outings. In the first game, the Friars bowed to UMass by a mere two points, 77-75, and then Friday saw the group go to overtime against Penn State and again come up on the losing end, this time in a 55-52 final.
As for the Bulldogs, they tipped off the new season with a 71-61 triumph versus Western Carolina at home on Nov. 9, but since then have been traveling downhill with setbacks against UNC-Wilmington, Tennessee and most recently, Akron two days ago by a score of 82-63.
Providence won the only previous meeting between these two squads by a score of 77-63 back in 1989 at home.
From a percentage perspective, the Bulldogs shot better from three-point range than Akron a couple days ago, UNC-Asheville hitting on 60 percent of its chances and the Zips 50 percent, but a closer look at those numbers tells the story why the Bulldogs lost by 19 points. While Asheville converted a mere 3- of-5 on the perimeter, the competition was dropping 12-of-24 chances from the outside to control the game. Two of the conversions for the Bulldogs came from Keith Hornsby who finished with a team-high 22 points, followed by Jeremy Atkinson who tallied 10 points as the only other player in double figures for the group. Atkinson, who opened the season with a 24-point effort against Western Carolina, leads the team in scoring overall at 17.3 ppg at the moment, not to mention pacing the group on the glass as well with his 7.3 rpg.
In a game that experienced six ties and eight lead changes, the Friars saw what had been a 10-point lead with about 12 minutes remaining in the second half dissolve altogether as the team had to go to overtime before suffering the three-point setback versus Penn State. All 52 points for Providence came from the starting five, which isn't that unusual given that the team used only one reserve in the contest and Brice Kofane didn't take a single shot from anywhere on the floor. Kadeem Batts registered a double-double for the Friars with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Josh Fortune nearly recorded a dubious double-double of his own as he coupled his 18 points and seven turnovers. LaDontae Henton checked in with 11 points and four miscues as he shot an awful 4-of-17 from the field. Fortune was inserted into the lineup for the Friars due to an injury to Bryce Cotton and for the time being it appears as though Cotton will again be on the bench which means the team is missing out on his 22.7 ppg and 6.3 rpg.
With Cotton out of action the Friars are being hit where it counts, but still they still should have the talent necessary to conquer the Bulldogs today.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Providence 63, UNC-Asheville 54
11/18 10:40:53 ET