McNeese State (2-4) at Rhode Island (5-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 26, 7:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Thomas M. Ryan Center (7,657) -- Kingston, Rhode Island. Television: None. Home Record: McNeese St. 1-0, URI 4-0. Away Record: McNeese St. 0-2, URI 0-2. Neutral Record: McNeese St. 1-2, URI 1-0. Conference Record: McNeese St. 0-0, URI 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Rhode Island Rams close out play in the NIT Season Tip-Off, as they host the McNeese State Cowboys in consolation action at the Ryan Center on Tuesday.
Dan Hurley's Rams moved to 5-2 on the season with Monday's 73-56 win over UNC Asheville. The victory was the second straight for URI, which is now a perfect 4-0 at the Ryan Center this season.
The Cowboys are coming off a 91-62 drubbing at the hands of East Carolina in Monday's NIT action. With the loss, McNeese State has fallen to 2-4 on the season.
This marks the first-ever meeting between these two teams.
Ledrick Eackles led the Cowboys (2-4) with 19 points, while Kevin Hardy added 13 points, but the Cowboys never really threatened in a game they trailed 43-29 at the half. McNeese State struggled from the floor during the frame, shooting just 34.5 percent and 2-of-7 from 3-point distance and it didn't get better after the break. In all, the Cowboys managed 37.7 percent shooting, bogged down by a 5-of-19 effort from 3-point range (.263). In addition, McNeese State was guilty of 16 turnovers.
McNeese State has struggled this season at the defensive end of the court, as foes are averaging 88.7 ppg. Offensively, the Cowboys entered netting a modest 71.2 ppg, doing so on a poor .383 shooting. Eackles is the top offensive threat for the Cowboys, averaging 16.5 ppg. Hardy is the only other player in double digits at this time with 11.0 ppg. However, Adrian Fields (9.2 ppg) and McFerrin (9.0 ppg) are just under the mark.
The Rams have a winning record, but haven't lit up the scoreboard in doing so. Rhode Island is averaging 72.0 ppg on just .434 shooting. Things haven't gotten better the further form the basket, at 26.1 percent from behind the arc. Senior guard Xavier Munford is one of two Rams currently averaging double figures with 13.6 ppg. Freshman guard E.C. Matthews has come off the bench in all seven games, but that hasn't stopped hom from posting 11.7 ppg.
Munford and Biggie Minnis both had 14 points to pace Rhode Island in its win over UNC Asheville on Monday. Gilvydas Biruta added 13 points for the Rams, who shot a steady .491 from the floor and owned a 37-21 advantage in rebounding.
The Rams have played well this season and should be able to continue their winning ways against the struggling Cowboys.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Rhode Island 76, McNeese State 58
11/26 10:36:12 ET