GAME NOTES: The 21st-ranked Baylor Bears are off to a tremendous start this season, and they will play host to the Hartford Hawks tonight.
Hartford is off to a bit of a disappointing start, as the team is just 4-7 overall. On a positive note, the last outing for the Hawks took place on December 14th and resulted in a 59-55 decision over Sacred Heart. Clearly, however, the level of competition increases significantly this evening, although Baylor was far from dominant in its 79-76 win over Texas-Arlington.
The Bears are 9-1 overall, and Scott Drew deserves a ton of credit for turning around a program that was at its lowest point just a few years ago. Drew's team has recorded three straight wins since suffering its lone loss to Wake Forest.
This game marks the first-ever meeting between Hartford and Baylor on the hardwood.
Hartford is scoring 67.3 ppg this season while allowing 77.0 ppg to the opposition. The top offensive performer for the Hawks is Joe Zeglinski, who is netting 15.3 ppg despite his 39.4 percent shooting from the field. Zeglinski is also tops on the boards, as he is pulling down 5.5 rpg. Morgan Sabia provides 12.0 ppg, and Jare von Rosenberg is netting 11.2 ppg. In the victory over Sacred Heart the last time out, the Hawks turned the ball over 17 times and suffered a 38-31 rebounding disadvantage. Fortunately, they were able to force 20 turnovers and limit Sacred Heart to 38.6 percent overall shooting. Andres Torres provided 15 points for Hartford, and Morgan Sabia added 14. As for Anthony Minor, he checked in with 10 points in the triumph.
There is plenty of balance in the lineup for Baylor, which has five double- digit scorers in the fold. The Bears are generating 81.9 ppg, and strong defense has enabled them to limit their opponents to 62.8 ppg on 38.4 percent shooting from the field. Curtis Jerrells leads the team with 17.2 ppg, and he is handing out 5.9 apg as well. LaceDarius Dunn adds 16.1 ppg, and Henry Dugat provides 13.0 ppg. Kevin Rogers (10.8 ppg, 7.4 rpg) and Tweety Carter (10.4 ppg) are solid contributors as well. In the three-point victory over Texas- Arlington last time out, Jerrells exploded for 29 points and seven assists in 35 minutes of action. Rogers had 13 points and 13 rebounds, while Carter also scored 13 points. The Bears earned a 40-29 rebounding advantage, the most obvious factor in the win.
Baylor is the obvious favorite in this tilt and will handle the Hawks without a problem. Expect the Bears to play strong defense after yielding 50.8 percent shooting to Texas-Arlington.