Oral Roberts (2-3) vs. Georgia Southern (2-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 26, 3 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Mayan -- Cancun, Mexico. Television: None. Home Record: ORU 1-0, GSU 2-0. Away Record: ORU 1-3, GSU 0-3. Neutral Record: ORU 0-0, GSU 0-0. Conference Record: ORU 0-0, GSU 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.
GAME NOTES: The Oral Roberts Golden Eagles and the Georgia Southern Eagles will meet in opening-round action of the Cancun portion of the 2013 Cancun Classic on Tuesday.
The winner of this contest will take on either Presbyterian or Bowling Green in Wednesday's next round.
In regional action of this event, Oral Roberts matched up with Saint Louis (72-55) and nationally-ranked Wisconsin (76-67) and came out on the losing end in both games, falling to just 2-3 on the young season.
Georgia Southern sports an identical 2-3 overall mark and suffered a similar fate in its two games in this event so far, getting routed by both West Virginia (101-68) and Old Dominion (86-69).
This marks just the third meeting between these two teams. The teams have split the first two matchups, with the last one coming back in 1971.
Despite shooting an impressive .551 from the floor and receiving 24 points from Shawn Glover, the Golden Eagles were unable to pull off the upset in Madison this past weekend. Glover, who was 10-of-16 from the floor, received scoring support from Bobby Word and D.J. Jackson, who finished with 14 and 11 points, respectively. The team certainly missed Obi Emegano, who is out with a knee injury.
Emegano gave the Oral Roberts a pair of dangerous scorers as his 19.0 ppg are second to only Glover's 19.4. Now, the Golden Eagles, who are averaging 68.2 ppg, will need others to step up in Emegano's absence. The likely candidates include Jackson (9.6 ppg) and Korey Billbury (8.8 ppg).
Cold shooting by Georgia Southern overall (.351) coupled by a strong outing from Old Dominion (.510) was a recipe for disaster last time out, as the Eagles were never really a threat to compete after trailing by 14 points at the half. Tre' Bussey and Jelani Hewitt had no problems scoring, but they combined for 51 of the team's 69 total points in the loss. Bussey was 7-of-14 from the floor and 12-of-14 from the free-throw line to finish with a game- high 28 point. Hewitt was 7-of-18 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the charity stripe in pouring in 23 points.
With Bussey and Hewitt leading the way, Georgia Southern is averaging a strong 86.2 ppg, on a solid .475 shooting. Bussey is shooting the lights out from all over the floor, connecting on just under 60 percent overall (.597), including 45.5 percent from long range, He currently leads the team in scoring with 23.6 ppg. Hewitt isn't far behind at 22.6 ppg. The problem for the Eagles is there is a huge dropoff after those two, as Curtis Diamond is next in the scoring column at just 7.8 ppg.
With Oral Roberts shorthanded and Bussey and Hewitt performing at a high level, Georgia Southern has the edge in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgia Southern 71, Oral Roberts 62
11/26 10:36:08 ET