Appalachian State (1-5) at (16) Missouri (5-1)
Saturday, December 1, 3 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Frank Haynes, Senior College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mizzou Arena (15,061) -- Columbia, Missouri.
Television: MSN. Home Record: Appalachian St. 1-2, Missouri 3-0. Away Record:
Appalachian St. 0-3, Missouri 0-0. Neutral Record: Appalachian St. 0-0,
Missouri 2-1. Conference Record: Appalachian St. 0-0, Missouri 0-0. Series
Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: Snapping their five-game losing streak won't be easy for the
Appalachian State Mountaineers, as they tangle with the 16th-ranked Missouri
Tigers on the road this Saturday.
Appalachian State won its season opener at home against Montreat (86-54), but
since then has dropped five in a row, nearly all of them by double digits. The
Mountaineers came closest to ending their current run of futility the last
time out as they fell at home to Duquesne in a 73-72 final. Appalachian State
will kick off the Southern Conference portion of its schedule a week from
Saturday at Western Carolina, and will get into the meat of its league ledger
after the new year.
Missouri has won five of its first six games, the most recent of which being a
68-65 decision against VCU last Saturday. The Tigers' lone setback came
against nationally-ranked Louisville (84-61) the day before, and their other
quality win on the campaign was against Stanford (78-70) on Thanksgiving --
all three games being part of the Battle 4 Atlantis. This bout marks the start
of a four-game homestand for Mizzou, which still has tough non-league games
against Illinois and UCLA to go before kicking off SEC action at home versus
Alabama on Jan. 8, 2013.
This game represents the first meeting between these two schools in men's
Poor defensive play has been the primary reason Appalachian State has suffered
for the last two weeks or so, as the team is giving up 80.5 ppg with foes
knocking down half of their field goal attempts. When the Mountaineers
maintain control the ball, they have found success in netting 75.3 ppg behind
a 44.4 percent shooting effort, which includes a 37.3 percent mark from three-
point range. The team is turning the ball over far too often (16.7 tpg), but
comes up with nearly 15 takeaways per outing while laying claim to a modest
+2.8 rebounding advantage. Jay Canty heads the unit's scoring effort with 16.3
ppg, and he rounds out his solid stat line with 6.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists
per game, those also currently pacing the club. Nathan Healy (14.3 ppg, 6.2
rpg) and Tab Hamilton (13.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg) round out the unit's double-digit
scorers, and the two combined for 40 points and 13 rebounds in the one-point
loss to Duquesne last time out. Canty logged a double-double consisting of 15
points and 10 assists for the Mountaineers, who shot 50 percent from the
field, nailing 9-of-20 three-point attempts along the way. Unfortunately, the
team turned the ball over 18 times, and allowed the Dukes to dominate both in
the paint (34-16), and in bench points (40-13).
Missouri has been effective at both ends of the court this season, netting
75.8 ppg while yielding 66.0 ppg. The Tigers, who drain nearly 38 percent of
their long-range attempts, boast four double-digit scorers in the form of Phil
Pressey (15.0 ppg, 6.2 apg), Laurence Bowers (14.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg), Alex Oriakhi
(11.8 ppg, 8.8 rpg) and Earnest Ross (11.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg). Opponents are
shooting just 38.5 percent from the field against Mizzou, which has controlled
the glass to the tune of a +10.0 rebounding margin. Bowers notched a double-
double with 14 points and 11 caroms in helping the Tigers ease past VCU in
their final game in the Bahamas last weekend. Phil Pressey nearly had his own
double-dip as he tallied 11 points and eight assists, and three others scored
at least 11 points as the Tigers made good on 49.1 percent of their total
shots while laying claim to a 40-31 rebounding advantage. Neither team went to
the foul line much, with VCU going just 3-of-6 and Missouri 4-of-6.
Any time two teams at opposite ends of the success spectrum get together, it's
a rarity when they reverse roles. Expect the Tigers to jump on top early as
they cruise to a relatively easy home win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Missouri 84, Appalachian State 62
12/01 10:33:10 ET
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