MacMurray (4-2) vs. Southern (2-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, December 9th, 8:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Fogelman Arena (3,600) -- New Orleans, Louisiana. Television: None. Home Record: MC 2-0, SU 1-0. Away Record: MC 2-2, SU 0-4. Neutral Record: MC 0-0, SU 1-1. Conference Record: MC 2-0, SU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The MacMurray Highlanders are set for their first Division I test of the season as they square off with the Southern University Jaguars in the Skip Prosser Tournament at Fogelman Arena in New Orelans, Louisiana.
This will be the first of two D-I opponents for MacMurray this season as they will face the host school of this event, Tulane, tomorrow evening. The Highlanders are members of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and have a 4-2 record entering this event. MacMurray has decent size on its roster for a Division III team, which is usually the biggest downfall for the lower division schools when playing up in competition. Coach Tom Creal's team struggled against perennial D-III powerhouse Washington U. in its opener, which is not a good sign heading into games against higher-level schools.
In its last outing against conference rival Greenville College, MacMurray got a huge effort off the bench from freshman guard Dylan Guthrie, as he scored 24 points in 14 minutes of action. Luke Bishop added 14 points, also off the bench. The Highlanders have a deep rotation as 12 players saw time in their last outing. Big men Cole Busch, Brady Slagle and Dylan Burton will all be tested as they battle with Southern's bigs for rebounds.
Southern is off to a slow start this year as it is 2-5 after being handled by Tulane, 78-53, in its last outing. The Jaguars' only win over a Division I opponent came in a 64-61 victory over Florida A&M. Southern showed potential as it took the Providence Friars, who are 7-2 this season, to the wire before dropping a 59-53 decision to the Big East program. The Jaguars are a mediocre offensive team as they are scoring just 60 points per game on 40.3 percent shooting from the field and 28.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Quinton Doggett will be the key to victory for the Jaguars. The 6-8 forward has a size and athleticism advantage over every player on MacMurray. The senior forward is averaging 10.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game this season. Doggett should be able to dominate the Highlanders, but if he is not able to produce, this one could end up being surprisingly close. Junior guard Derick Beltran leads the team in scoring with 11.1 points per game. Beltran has struggled against teams that force him to shoot from the outside, but the 6-4 slasher should be able to get to the basket much easier in this one.
Southern has had a disappointing season so far, but this should be a chance for it to get back on track. MacMurray had two games circled at the start of the year, Southern and Tulane. This will be one of the biggest games and tests for the Highlanders. If MacMurray comes out with energy and confidence, it has a chance to pull off the upset. That said, Doggett should be able to push the Jaguars to a comfortable victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Southern 64, MacMurray 48
12/09 10:31:25 ET