DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 2nd, 7:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Holmes Center (8,325) -- Boone, North Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: Samford 5-7, ASU 7-2. Away Record: Samford 2-7, ASU 2-8. Neutral Record: Samford 0-0, ASU 0-1. Conference Record: Samford 4-6, ASU 5-5. Series Record: Appalachian State leads, 4-2.
GAME NOTES: The Appalachian State Mountaineers welcome the Samford Bulldogs to the Holmes Center tonight for a Southern Conference matchup.
Appalachian State trails UNC Greensboro by one game and Elon by a half-game in the SoCon North Division, while Samford sits a game back of the Mountaineers. ASU leads the all-time series, 4-2. These teams will meet again this Monday in Elon.
Samford had won four of its previous five outings entering last Monday's game with the College of Charleston, but the Cougars thwarted that momentum with a 68-52 rout. For the Bulldogs, the setback also ended their quest to polish off a 3-0 homestand after dealing Davidson its first conference loss only two days earlier. The Bulldogs have gone just 2-7 on the road this season, but they would love nothing more than a victory here to really jumble things up near the top of the North Division standings.
Meanwhile, Appalachian State is hoping to build on last Saturday's 81-66 throttling of an Elon team that entered that meeting in first place in the North. That game kicked off a three-game homestand for the Mountaineers, who have won seven of nine at the Holmes Center this season. Next up, they'll host the College of Charleston on Saturday afternoon.
Monday night's loss was Samford's first at home since January 5, no small feat considering they are just 5-7 at home this season. Head coach Jimmy Tillette chastised his team's effort in his post-game remarks, saying his players were "not hungry" and "looked completely disinterested". Coming off an emotional victory against Davidson, the Bulldogs failed to bring that same intensity against a Charleston squad that was reeling through a season-long four-game skid. Although they held Charleston to 37 percent shooting, 11 of the Cougars' 23 field goals came from beyond the arc. Samford was also out-rebounded, 43-34, and that included 17 offensive boards for the visitors. Tyler Hood and Raijon Kelly each scored 11 points in the loss, while Drew Windler finished with 10 points and seven caroms. Windler paces the squad with 13.7 points per game on the year, as he is shooting 51.1 percent from the floor and a team- best 45.1 percent out on the perimeter (41-of-91). Hood is next in line with 10.3 ppg, while Jeffrey Merritt averages 9.0 points and a team-high 6.7 rebounds.
Mountaineers' leading scorer Omar Carter (13.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg) had started 16 of the team's first 17 games, but he has come off the bench in each of the last three. Initially, head coach Jason Capel wanted to send a message to his senior guard for what he felt was a lack of effort and focus. But with Carter averaging 19.7 points over his last three games as a reserve, Capel isn't about to try and fix what isn't broken. Carter, who previously was settling for too many outside shots, has been attacking the rim more frequently. As a result, he has been rewarded with more free-throw opportunities and went a combined 24-of-27 against UNCG and Western Carolina. Against Elon, he posted 20 points and 11 boards, while Jamaal Trice (11.5 ppg) matched him with 20 points, and Andre Williamson (10.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg) finished with nine and 10 boards. As a team, the Mountaineers shot 54.5 percent from the floor and held the Phoenix to 37.9 percent. With Carter leading the charge, ASU's bench posted a key 33-10 scoring advantage over Elon's reserves.
The Bulldogs received quite an earful from their head coach following Monday's showing. At the very least, expect a more lively effort this time around. Still, they figure to have some problems trying to match up with the Mountaineers' depth, particularly on the Holmes Center hardwood.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Appalachian State 79, Samford 69
02/02 10:33:04 ET
Copyright ??2010 Athlon Sports, Inc. Athlon Sports and the Athlon Sports logo are trademarks of Athlon Sports, Inc. | About Us