Appalachian State (1-7) at UMKC (4-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 16, 2:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Swinney Recreation Center (1,504) -- Kansas City, Missouri. Television: FSN-S. Home Record: ASU 1-2, UMKC 1-1. Away Record: ASU 0-5, UMKC 1-3. Neutral Record: ASU 0-0, UMKC 2-1. Conference Record: ASU 0-1, UMKC 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The UMKC Kangaroos attempt to get back to .500 on Sunday afternoon when they play host to the Appalachian State Mountaineers in non-conference action at Swinney Recreation Center.
Appalachian State's season got off to a promising start with an 86-54 victory over Montreat on Nov. 9, but since then it has been reeling with seven consecutive losses. The Mountaineers began their current four-game road trip with losses at Missouri (72-56) and Western Carolina (70-64).
It has been an up-and-down first month of the season for UMKC, as it has alternated wins with losses ever since suffering a 75-36 defeat at Seton Hall on opening night. After claiming an impressive 73-70 road victory over North Dakota on Dec. 5, the Kangaroos had the unenviable task of playing fifth- ranked Louisville in Kentucky, falling handily to the Cardinals in a 99-47 final.
These two programs have never before met on the hardwood.
Appalachian State hasn't had a bad start shooting the ball, making 42.6 percent of its field goal attempts in averaging nearly 72 ppg, but it has only registered one win thus far thanks to a porous effort at the defensive end of the court, allowing opponents to drain 48.9 percent from the field for 78.1 ppg. The Mountaineers actually kept WCU below 42 percent shooting in their latest game, but the effort was spoiled by a shoddy offensive showing, the team making just 38.2 percent of their shots. Jay Canty did his best to keep his team in the game, going 7-of-15 for 22 points while playing all 40 minutes. Nathan Healy (15 points, nine rebounds) and Tab Hamilton (10 points) also had solid efforts in the setback. Canty has been one of the Southern Conference's best players this season, registering 18.6 ppg and 6.5 rpg, although he has more turnovers (30) than assists (26). Healy puts up 13.8 ppg and 6.0 rpg, and he is also a valuable asset at the defensive end (1.5 bpg, 1.3 apg). Hamilton (11.8 ppg) has made a team-best 18 3-pointers.
UMKC was dominated in every facet of the game against an elite Louisville squad, as it allowed the Cardinals to shoot a lofty 56.1 percent from the floor while committing 10 more turnovers (24) than it had field goal (14). No one was able to score in double figures in the game, with Nelson Kirksey and Trinity Hall leading the way with nine points apiece. The Roos have been a better offensive squad on the season than it showed against Louisville, but not by much, making just 41.1 percent of their field goal attempts for 62.7 ppg, nearly 10 ppg fewer than their opponents. Although no player averages double digits in scoring, they get at least 5.4 ppg from seven different guys. Estan Tyler nets a team-best 9.1 ppg and dishes out 3.3 apg. Fred Chatmon (7.2 ppg) has been a physical presence in the paint with 6.8 rpg and 1.6 bpg.
Appalachian State has more scoring firepower than UMKC, but it has yet to prove that it can stop anyone from putting points on the board, especially on the road. The Roos should be able to get back on track in this one with the help of their home crowd.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UMKC 73, Appalachian State 67
12/16 10:34:33 ET