Northeastern (2-2) vs. Charlotte (3-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 22, 2:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Coliseo Roberto Clemente (10,000) -- San Juan, Puerto Rico. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Northeastern 1-0, Charlotte 2-0. Away Record: Northeastern 0-1, Charlotte 0-1. Neutral Record: Northeastern 1-1, Charlotte 1-0. Conference Record: Northeastern 0-0, Charlotte 0-0. Series Record: Charlotte leads, 3-0.
GAME NOTES: Coming off victories in the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip- Off, the Charlotte 49ers and Northeastern Huskies match up with one another in Friday's second round action in San Juan.
Bill Coen's Huskies fell behind early against Georgetown, but rallied in the second half to earn a come-from-behind 63-56 win. Northeastern, which opened the year with back-to-back losses to Boston University (72-69) and Stony Brook (73-66), have now won two straight to even up its record, knocking off Central Connecticut State (83-69) before Thursday's upset of the Hoyas.
Alan Major's 49ers moved to 3-1 on the season following a 68-61 first-round victory over Kansas State. Charlotte had recorded home wins over East Tennessee State (80-75) and Elon (83-69) and a road loss at College of Charleston (83-82) prior to the trip to Puerto Rico.
Charlotte has won all three previous meetings with Northeastern, including a 67-59 decision in the championship game of the last year's Great Alaska Shootout. The winner will move into Sunday's final round and play either Michigan or Florida State for the tournament title.
Despite facing an uphill battle against a much larger opponent, the Huskies rallied from a 14-point second half deficit to post a seven-point win over the Hoyas. Junior forward Reggie Spencer tied his career-high with 18 points and just missed a double-double with nine rebounds. Fellow forward Scott Eatherton was able to complete the feat however, finishing with 12 points and 10 boards. David Walker also tallied 12 points in the win, while T.J. Williams chipped in with 10.
The Huskies have shot the ball well thus far, converting 45.7 percent from the floor, en route to 70.3 ppg. The team has also enjoyed a +5.0 rebounding margin. Northeastern has been led thus far by the interior play of Eatherton, who has three double-doubles in the first four games, pacing the squad in both scoring (13.5 ppg) and rebounding (10.0 rpg) and is shooting a sizzling .615 from the floor. Three other Huskies join Eatherton in double-figure scoring with Walker (11.8 ppg), Spencer (11.5 ppg) and Zach Stahl (10.0 ppg) all making solid contributions.
It was a balanced effort for Charlotte in Thursday's victory over Kansas State, as five 49ers finished in double figures scoring, led by Mike Thorne Jr., who posted a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Denzel Ingram added 12 points to the cause, while Willie Clayton also completed a double- double with 10 points and 10 boards, while Pierra Henry and Shawn Lester also finished with 10 points each. The 49ers were able to win the game despite turning the ball over 19 times and shooting under 40 percent from the floor (.393).
Charlotte is shooting .442 from the floor this season, while netting a solid 78.2 ppg. The team also boasts a +9.4 rebounding edge. One glaring flaw thus far has been the team's long-range efficiency, with Charlotte shooting just .245 from behind the arc (13-of-53). Still, the team possesses a number of scoring threats, with six players currently averaging double digits. Shawn Lester has not started a game yet, but still leads Charlotte with 15.8 ppg. Pierra Henry isn't far behind at 15.3 ppg, Thorne (14.3 ppg), Willie Clayton (12.3 ppg), Ingram (12.0 ppg but has played just the one game) and Terrence Williams (11.0 ppg). Clayton has been a beast on the glass thus far, averaging just under 10 caroms per contest (9.8).
The Huskies will certainly build on the win over Georgetown, but have to get right back at it against a dangerous Charlotte program that has shown the ability to get production from its deep scoring pool.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Charlotte 72, Northeastern 66
11/22 10:33:23 ET