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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, January 19, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Moody Coliseum (7,000) -- Dallas, Texas. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Hofstra 4-4, SMU 8-0. Away Record: Hofstra 1-6, SMU 3-3. Neutral Record: Hofstra 1-1, SMU 2-1. Conference Record: Hofstra 2-1, SMU 3-2. Series Record: SMU leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The SMU Mustangs will take a break from conference play when they host the Hofstra Pride in a non-league affair at Moody Coliseum Sunday evening.
This game was originally scheduled for Dec. 7 but postponed due to inclement weather.
A 69-64 win over UNC-Wilmington on Wednesday was the second-straight for Hofstra, marking the first time it has won consecutive contests this season. The Pride are just 6-11 overall on the campaign, including a miserable 1-6 mark away from home. They will host William & Mary next time out.
SMU has also won back-to-back games, with triumphs over South Florida (71-54) and most recently UCF (58-46) on Saturday. The Mustangs' short winning streak has improved them to 13-4 overall, including a perfect 8-0 ledger on their home floor. They will get back to league play on Tuesday against Rutgers.
In the lone previous encounter between these teams the Mustangs routed the Pride 73-47 in December of last season.
Zeke Upshaw poured in a game-high 27 points in Hofstra's win over UNC- Wilmington. The Pride shot 46 percent from the floor as a team, including a 9- of-20 showing from 3-poiint range, to make up for a 16-10 deficit on points off of turnovers.
Hofstra isn't a particularly potent offensive unit, netting only 69.5 ppg and shooting at a 43 percent clip from the floor. Upshaw (19.6 ppg) is the leading scorer on the roster and actually tops off the Colonial Athletic Association in the statistic as well. His effort against UNCW marked the fourth time in the last five games that he has had at least 20 points. Dion Nesmith (12.5 ppg, 3.9 apg) is the only other player averaging double figures as well as the team's leader in assists. However, he only connects on 36.8 percent from the field.
SMU was dominant defensively against UCF on Saturday, forcing 19 turnovers, which led to 24 points. The Mustangs also outscored the Knights 38-13 in the paint and held them to 31.3 percent shooting. Markus Kennedy tallied a team- high 15 points to go with eight rebounds in the victory.
Under Larry Brown's tutelage the Mustangs have transformed into one of the top defensive squads in the country. They are second nationally in opponent field goal percentage (.360) and 17th in defensive scoring (60.8 ppg). On the other side of the floor SMU is netting 71.8 ppg, while shooting 49 percent from the field, which is among the top 15 marks in the country. Nic Moore (13.1 ppg, 4.5 apg) and Kennedy (11.2 ppg) are the only double figure scorers on the roster. Moore registered 11 points in the win over UCF. The Mustangs have been a bit shorthanded recently, with Yanick Moreria (9.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg) suffering from a partially torn MCL, which will keep him out again on Sunday.
The Pride already have trouble lighting up the scoreboard. They will struggle even more against the relentless Mustangs, who are extremely tough on their home floor.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: SMU 78, Hofstra 60
01/19 10:18:34 ET
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