Florida A&M (0-3) vs. South Alabama (1-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 22nd, 8:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Freedom Hall (18,865) -- Louisville, Kentucky. Television: None. Home Record: Florida A&M 0-0, South Alabama 1-0. Away Record: Florida A&M 0-3, South Alabama 0-1. Neutral Record: Florida A&M 0-0, South Alabama 0-0. Conference Record: Florida A&M 0-0, South Alabama 0-0. Series Record: South Alabama leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The Florida A&M Rattlers and the South Alabama Jaguars are set to square off tonight as part of the Billy Minardi Classic at Freedom Hall in Louisville. This season has not begun the way the Rattlers had hoped, as each of their first three victories have resulted in defeat. On Wednesday, the team failed to even be competitive in an 89-48 loss to Alabama on the road. The three losses to date have come by 104 combined points, proof of the team's early struggles. As for South Alabama, it opened the season last week with an 87-79 decision over Alcorn State. The competition level increased significantly for the Jaguars' second outing, and they were beaten by Ole Miss on the road by an 89-71 final on Tuesday. The winner and loser from tonight's game will take on the winner and loser of the clash between Louisville, the host team, and Morehead State. South Alabama has won both of its previous meetings with Florida A&M, and the teams haven't met since 1996.
It was obvious from the opening tip on Tuesday that Florida A&M was grossly overmatched in its game against Alabama. The Rattlers connected on 32.4 percent of their field goal attempts and missed all 20 of their three-point attempts. Even free throw shooting proved to be problematic for the team, as it made good on just 4-of-11 tries from the line. With seven assists against 17 turnovers and a 49-34 rebounding disadvantage, it isn't hard to figure out why the game got out of hand. Larry Jackson scored 12 points in 25 minutes off the bench to lead Florida A&M. Through three games, there is not a single player on the roster scoring more than 9.0 ppg, and generating offense has clearly been a major problem area.
There are a couple of clear reasons why South Alabama was unable to hang with Ole Miss earlier this week. One of those reasons was out of the Jaguars' control, as the Rebels were able to knock down all 22 of their foul shots, giving them a 10-point edge in points from the free throw line. Also, South Alabama suffered a 42-31 rebounding disadvantage, including a 19-11 deficit on the offensive glass. Brandon Davis led the way in the loss with 19 points, and DeAndrae Ross contributed 12 points and six assists. LaShun Watson posted 11 points and nine rebounds. Davis was a force in the opener against Alcorn State, as he posted 21 points and 14 rebounds. Both Watson and Bryan Sherrer tallied 13 points in that game, and DeAndre' Coleman added 14 points.
South Alabama will win tonight's game rather easily and earn the right to take on Louisville tomorrow.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: South Alabama 75, Florida A&M 61
11/22 10:23:54 ET