Samford (11-18) at Appalachian State (12-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 28, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Holmes Center (8,325) -- Boone, North Carolina. Television: none. Home Record: Samford 7-6, ASU 8-4. Away Record: Samford 4-10, ASU 4-11. Neutral Record: Samford 0-2, ASU 0-0. Conference Record: Samford 9-7, ASU 8-8. Series Record: Appalachian State leads, 5-4.
GAME NOTES: In a game with a lot on the line, the Appalachian State Mountaineers will host the Samford Bulldogs for a Southern Conference showdown at the Holmes Center on Thursday night.
The Bulldogs most recently earned a 75-71 win over UNC Greensboro. It was the third win in the last four games for Samford. With a win over the Mountaineers, the Bulldogs would clinch a second place finish in the Southern Conference North Division and earn a bye in the first round of next week's tournament. This will be the first of a two-game road trip to close out the regular season.
Appalachian State is coming off a loss in overtime to the Citadel, 80-77. It was the second loss in the last three games. If ASU earns a win over Samford both teams would be tied for the second place spot.
While the Mountaineers hold a 5-4 edge in the all-time series, they suffered a 72-68 loss to the Bulldogs just over a month ago.
Raijon Kelly scored 25 points to lift the Bulldogs over UNCG. He was 9-of-15 from the floor, including three 3-pointers, while also dishing out a team-high six assists. Tim Williams added 16 points and six rebounds, while Tyler Hood contributed 14 points before fouling out.
Kelly averages 14.8 ppg, shooting a highly efficient 43.4 percent from 3-point range. Williams added 14.3 ppg with 7.0 rpg, shooting 54.0 percent from the floor. Clide Geffrard Jr. has also been lights out from long-range, hitting on 44.0 percent of his attempts and scoring 11.4 ppg. Despite having three good scorers, the Bulldogs manage just 61.6 ppg as a unit and give up a -5.1 scoring margin as well as a -5.1 rebounding margin.
In the loss to the Citadel, the Mountaineers were led by Tab Hamilton, Mike Neal and Tevin Baskin, who scored 13 points each. Hamilton and Neal knocked down a trio of 3-pointers each, while Jamaal Trice had three 3-pointers of his own, managing 11 points and seven rebounds.
Nathan Healy leads the team in scoring this season with 14.6 ppg, as well as rebounding with 7.6 per game. He shoots nearly 50.0 percent from the field and over 40.0 percent from beyond the arc. Jay Canty and Baskin join him in double-figure scoring as Canty scores 14.1 ppg and Baskin adds 10.1. The team is a solid offensive squad, but struggles on the defensive end where it gives up 72.9 ppg on 45.7 percent shooting.
ASU will be seeking revenge from the loss earlier this season and will also be looking to take advantage of a home crowd in order to even things out in its bid for a top-two finish. The Mountaineers will hold a bit of an edge at home where they have been most efficient this season.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Appalachian State 67, Samford 65
02/28 10:35:34 ET