Maine (3-2) at South Alabama (2-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 28th, 8:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mitchell Center (10,000) -- Mobile, Alabama. Television: None. Home Record: Maine 0-1, South Alabama 1-1. Away Record: Maine 2-1, South Alabama 0-2. Neutral Record: Maine 1-0, South Alabama 1-0. Conference Record: Maine 0-0, South Alabama 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The South Alabama Jaguars will open the USA Basketball Classic tonight, when they take on the Maine Black Bears at the Mitchell Center. The winner of this contest will face UC Davis or Tulane on Saturday. After opening the year with three consecutive victories, the Black Bears have stumbled a bit, losing two straight matchups. The last time Maine was on the floor the team suffered a tough, 73-66 loss to Quinnipiac. As for the Jaguars, they won two of their first three contests, but just like their opponent they have fallen on tough times, losing back-to-back games. The last time South Alabama was on the floor the team suffered a heartbreaking, 79-77 loss to Arkansas. After this tournament, the Jaguars will hit the road to battle the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles. In terms of the all-time series between the two schools, this will be the first-ever matchup on the hardwood.
The Black Bears come into this game shooting 44.6 percent from the field, which is decent, but that has led to a mere 64.6 ppg. Gerald McLemore has been the top scoring option for Maine, as the guard is netting 12.4 ppg. Mark Socoby is the only other player netting double-figures with 12.2 ppg, but he comes into this game shooting a pathetic 33.3 percent from the floor. The last time Maine was on the floor the team suffered a rough loss to Quinnipiac. The Black Bears shot just 35.0 percent from the floor, and connected on just 9- of-30 attempts from long range. McLemore led the way with 19 points in the setback, while Socoby tallied 14 points, but also committed seven turnovers. Sean McNally chipped in nine points, but also paced the team with 14 rebounds.
As for the Jaguars, they have been unable to stop any opponent thus far, as South Alabama comes into tonight's game surrendering 78.4 ppg. The poor defensive showing has overshadowed the team's impressive play offensively, as the Jags are averaging 76.4 ppg, while shooting an impressive 47.5 percent from the floor. Domonic Tilford has been the top scoring option for USA, as the guard is netting 18.7 ppg. Brandon Davis has been the main player in the paint for the Jags, and comes into this meeting with Maine, posting 17.2 ppg and a team-best 8.8 rpg. In the loss to Arkansas, the Jags allowed the Razorbacks to shoot 49.1 percent from the floor, and that included a 12-of-22 clip from long range for Arkansas. At the other end of the floor, the Jags shot 47.3 percent and were led by Tilford, who scored 23 points. Davis added 18 points and eight rebounds for South Alabama, while LaShun Watson chipped in 10 points to go along with five assists.
The Jags have struggled defensively, but the team should be able to score enough points to get past Maine, which has struggled to find any consistency at the offensive end of the court.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: South Alabama 77, Maine 64
11/28 10:21:17 ET