Tennessee Tech (1-1) vs. Texas-Pan American (1-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 15, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: American Bank Center (8,156) -- Corpus Christi, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: TTU 1-0, UTPA 1-2. Away Record: TTU 0-1, UTPA 0-0. Neutral Record: TTU 0-0, UTPA 0-0. Conference Record: TTU 0-0, UTPA 0-0. Series Record: Tennessee Tech leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles and the Texas-Pan American Broncs will open up the Islanders Basketball Tournament on Friday afternoon at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi.
This round-robin style event also features IUPU-Fort Wayne and host squad Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, with each team facing one another over the course of the weekend.
The Golden Eagles ventured to South Florida for their season opener last Saturday and came away with a 72-62 loss, but they were able to bounce back in their return home on Tuesday night as they dismissed Loyola-Chicago, 74-69, to pull to 1-1.
UTPA's campaign began with two straight losses at home to Sam Houston State (77-73) and Houston (77-65), although each matchup was hard fought before falling by single digits. The Broncs hosted Huston-Tillotson in the preliminary round of this event on Wednesday night and got their first win of the season in a 94-62 final.
These two teams met just once before, with Tennessee Tech taking a 73-71 verdict on Jan. 6, 1973.
Even though TTU found itself down by as many as 12 points in the second half to Loyola the last time out, it went on a 19-5 run to take control of the game on its way to an impressive five-point triumph. The team shot greater than 48 percent from the field, as was led by Dennis Ogbe's 13-point, nine-rebound effort. Ladon Carter (12 points, seven rebounds) and Ty Allen (11 points) were both impressive off the bench, while Jeremia Samarrippas added 10 points. Even after a strong showing, the Golden Eagles have modest offensive numbers through two games (.422 FG percentage, 68.0 ppg) thanks to their lackluster performance in the opener. Despite hitting on just 23.1 percent of his 3-point attempts, Allen has poured in 18.0 points per game. Josiah Moore (10.5 ppg) and Ogbe (9.0 ppg, 10.0 rpg) are also focal points of the Tech attack.
UTPA put forth a dominating effort in the recent win over Huston-Tillotson, as it outshot its overmatched opponent, 47.1 percent to 35.2 percent, while forcing 21 turnovers. Five players scored in double figures for the Broncs, paced by Javorn Farrell and his 18 points. Justin Leathers added 14 points and eight rebounds, Shaquille Hines netted 11 points, while Lauri Tolvonen and Josh Cleveland each finished with 10. Through three games, the Broncs are scoring 77.3 points per game on nearly 44 percent field goal shooting, and Boga (13.7 ppg) has been the most effective scorer. Despite scoring 12.3 points per game, Farrell has a lackluster field goal percentage (.344) and has more turnovers (12) than assists (nine). Leathers (12.0 ppg) leads the team with 7.0 rebounds per game and has drained all 17 of his free-throw attempts.
UTPA has been competitive in each of its first three games, and there is no reason to expect that to change against a rather modest TTU squad. However, the Golden Eagles' inside-outside duo of Allen and Ogbe may be too much for the Broncs to handle.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tennessee Tech 77, Texas-Pan American 70
11/15 10:32:58 ET