Georgia Southern (2-4) vs. Presbyterian (1-6) (2-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 27, 1:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Aventura Palace Convention Center -- Cancun, Mexico. Television: None. Home Record: GSU 2-0, Presbyterian 1-0. Away Record: GSU 0-3, Presbyterian 0-5. Neutral Record: GSU 0-1, Presbyterian 0-1. Conference Record: GSU 0-0, Presbyterian 0-0. Series Record: GSU leads, 13-6
GAME NOTES: In the consolation round of the Riviera bracket of the Cancun Challenge, the Presbyterian Blue Hose will tangle with the Georgia Southern Eagles at the Aventura Palace Convention Center.
The Blue Hose have not had a particularly successful stay in the Challenge with three losses in as many contests during the event. The most recent setback came in the semifinals, which featured a round-robin style slate of games last week. That semifinal battle was against Bowling Green and the Blue Hose just didn't have enough offensive firepower, as they were shut down, 67-45.
The returns for the Eagles during the Challenge have been just as poor. Georgia Southern came close to collecting a victory on Tuesday but lost for a third straight time in a 67-65 setback to Oral Roberts. Georgia Southern is just 2-4 on the season overall.
There is some familiarity between these two programs with Wednesday marking the 20th meeting between them. Georgia Southern has won 13 of the first 19 matchups.
The Eagles trailed by seven points with 20 seconds to play against Oral Roberts, making a last second 3-pointer and layup irrelevant as the Eagles' comeback bid ran short on time. Georgia Southern hurt itself by being outscored in points off turnovers (16-5) and in second-chance points (21-11).
Georgia Southern has had a much better time on the offensive end in general this season as compared to the Blue Hose. The Eagles are putting in 82.7 points per game, though they have not reached past the 70-point mark during the Challenge. Jelani Hewitt (22.0 ppg, 4.3 apg) and Tre Bussey (21.5 ppg) are each scoring at an incredible rate during the early season. Both rely heavily on shots from beyond the arc, as each has nailed 16 shots from 3-point range already this season. The duo represent the only double-figure scoring threats on the roster, as reserve Curtis Diamond (8.5 ppg) is the third-best option. Hewitt and Bussey combined for 30 points on 11-of-27 shooting in the loss to Oral Roberts.
Against Bowling Green, the Blue Hose had a miserable night shooting as they were beat up on the interior. Presbyterian had 14 fewer field goals in the contest and suffered from a massive, 48-14, deficit on points in the paint.
Finding offense has been a failed proposition for the Blue Hose all season. Presbyterian is netting only 58.6 points per game and hitting less than 40 percent of its shots from the field. Such offensive struggles have the Blue Hose on the wrong end of a rather large scoring differential (-18.4). Jordan Downing (18.1 ppg) has done all he can to keep the Blue Hose competitive on the offensive end but he has had very little help from the rest of the roster. Reggie Dillard (12.4 ppg) and William Truss (10.3 ppg) are also scoring in double figures, but the list of offensive options runs dry from there. No other player is scoring more than six points per game.
The Eagles have at least been competitive during this in-season tournament. On Wednesday they will be rewarded for their resilience.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgia Southern 77, Presbyterian 67
11/27 10:41:06 ET