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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 29, 10:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Save Mart Center (15,596) -- Fresno, California. Television: None. Home Record: Drake 2-0, FSU 3-0. Away Record: Drake 1-1, FSU 1-2. Neutral Record: Drake 0-0, FSU 0-0. Conference Record: Drake 0-0, FSU 0-0. Series Record: Drake leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: Off to their best start under coach Rodney Terry, Fresno State gets back into action tonight against Drake in the battle of the Bulldogs.
The contest is part of the Fresno State Classic, which is back for the first time since 2007. Fresno State has won the tournament 16 times while being a runner-up 11 times.
Fresno State is coming off a 33-point win over San Diego Christian on Monday. Tyler Johnson led the way with 19 points, while Marvelle Harris scored 17. Allen Huddleston tallied 15 points for Fresno State, which shot a sizzling 54.1 percent from the field.
Harris is averaging a team-best 15.8 points. Johnson is close to averaging a double-double with 14.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per tilt. All told, five players average double figures in scoring, with sophomore point guard Cezar Guerrero (13.7), freshman Paul Watson (12.7) and senior reserve guard Allen Huddleston (10.2) also contributing to a team that has yet to lose at home in three such games this season. In each of those wins, at least five Bulldogs reached double figures.In each of these victories, at least five Bulldogs reached double figures. Freshman Karachi Edo posted his first career double- double in the win over San Diego Christian. Watson is shooting 59.1 percent from the field, part of a team that is making 47.5 percent from the floor. Fresno State is averaging 77.3 points per game.
Drake makes its second trip to the state of California this season. Drake suffered a 67-63 loss to Saint Mary's on Nov. 16. Then came an 88-80 win over Nebraska Omaha a week later. The squad hasn't played since that victory. There was plenty of offensive support in the most recent win, as Richard Carter led five players in double figures with 23 points and Drake shot 9-of-21 from 3- point range. The problem was the 80 points were the most given up by the team this season. Drake is allowing only 63.8 points per contest.
Carter's 23.3 points per game paces Drake. He also totaled a career-high 11 rebounds in the win over Omaha for his first career double-double. Junior guard Gary Ricks is the only other Drake player in double figures as he averages 10.8 ppg. The team hopes to have back freshman forward Blake Danielak back for tonight's game. Danielak, who is averaging 7.7 points and 4.0 rebounds, sat out the Omaha contest due to illness. Drake is making 48.2 percent of its shots from the field.
Drake has outrebounded its opponents by an average of seven per contest.
Following tonight's game, Drake will play Northern Arizona and CSU Bakersfield in the tournament. Fresno State has games against Bakersfield on Saturday and Northern Arizona on Sunday.
Terry's team will no doubt be tested by a team that so far has put up strong defensive numbers, although Fresno State is holding opponents to 25.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc. That may not bode well for Drake, especially Carter, who has thrived from distance thus far at 50 percent. Turnovers will also play a key part. Under Terry, Fresno State has committed fewer turnovers than or the same number of turnovers as its foes in 52 of 69 contests. If Fresno State can take care of the ball, the host team should come out on top.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Fresno State 79, Drake 72
11/29 10:51:06 ET
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