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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 28, 8:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Titan Gym (4,000) -- Fullerton, California. Television: ESPN U. Home Record: CofC 2-2, SDSU 2-1. Away Record: CofC 0-1, SDSU 0-0. Neutral Record: CofC 0-0, SDSU 0-0. Conference Record: CofC 0-0, SDSU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The College of Charleston Cougars and San Diego State Aztecs will spend Thanksgiving Day together, doing battle on the court at Titan Gym as part of the 2013 Wooden Legacy.
The event will continue in Fullerton, California until moving to the Honda Center in Anaheim on Sunday.
The winner of this first-ever meeting between CofC and SDSU will be back in action on Friday against either No. 20 Creighton or Arizona State, with the losers also squaring off in the consolation bracket.
Charleston comes into this holiday happening at 2-3, and the team recently snapped a brief two-game slide with an 89-55 thrashing of Furman. The Cougars' other win came in its second game of the season, an 83-82 decision against Charlotte.
San Diego State has sandwiched a pair of wins around a single loss here in the early going, beating UC Riverside (77-41) and San Diego Christian (93-41), while losing to nationally-ranked Arizona (69-60).
It's a good thing the Cougars are playing well at the defensive end this season, the team allowing just 68.8 ppg with opponent shooting 43.1 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from 3-point range, because their offensive effort (66.4 ppg, .445, .343) leaves something to be desired. Canyon Barry, the youngest son of NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry, leads the way with 15.4 ppg, while Joe Chealey (10.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.0 apg) and Willis Hall (10.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg) round out the double-digit scorers for a Charleston squad that is only converting 58.4 percent of its free throws and is -3.0 in turnover margin, but is ahead of the game on the glass (+1.2). In addition to the guys hitting for at least 10 ppg, the Cougars also get solid production from Adjehi Baru (9.2 ppg, 8.0 rpg, .667 FG percentage) and Anthony Stitt (8.6 ppg, 2.2 apg). Stitt was high man in the recent rout of Furman, netting 21 points, while Barry hit for 15, and Baru and Johnathan Crook chipped in with 14 apiece. The Cougars shot 56.9 percent from the field, while the Paladins were at only 34.5 percent, which included a woeful 3-of-16 effort from beyond the arc.
The Aztecs have played exceptional defense through the first three games, limiting the opposition, which includes a very good Arizona squad, to 50.3 ppg behind typical shooting outputs of .327 overall and .174 from 3-point land. The opposition has been so bad, that even their free throws are only being converted 53.6 percent of the time. Offensively, San Diego State is putting up 76.7 ppg in draining 45.9 percent of its field goal attempts, which includes a 39.0 percent showing from downtown. JJ O'Brien leads the team in scoring at 14.7 ppg, which goes well with his 5.7 rpg. Help comes in the form of Xavier Thames (13.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg), Winston Shepard (10.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg) and Dwayne Polee II (10.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg). O'Brien led five players in double figures in the recent whipping of San Diego Christian, netting 16 points, and Josh Davis was the other Aztec to shine brightly, as he logged a double-double consisting of 15 points and 13 rebounds. SDSU shot 56.9 percent from the floor, while holding its overmatched opponent to a mere 22.2 percent. A 51-34 rebounding advantage played a factor, as did the fact that the Hawks committed 23 turnovers.
Despite the best effort of Barry and his cohorts, the Cougars are likely to fall victim to the Aztecs suffocating defensive pressure, which will propel them into the next round of this event.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Diego State 70, College of Charleston 64
11/28 10:31:24 ET
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