Nebraska Omaha (3-2) at Drake (2-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 23, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Drake Knapp Center (7,152) -- Des Moines, Iowa. Television: None. Home Record: Nebraska Omaha 2-0, Drake 1-0. Away Record: Nebraska Omaha 1-2, Drake 1-1. Neutral Record: Nebraska Omaha 0-0, Drake 0-0. Conference Record: Nebraska Omaha 0-0, Drake 0-0. Series Record: Drake leads, 7-0.
GAMES NOTES: With their sights set on getting back into the win column, the Drake Bulldogs will battle the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks in a non-conference duel at the Drake Knapp Center.
For Omaha this game is the beginning of a short two-game road swing that wraps up against South Carolina State on Monday. The Mavericks already faced South Carolina State this season as they ran away with a 91-59 victory over the Bulldogs on Tuesday at Ralston Arena. That victory was the third in five games for Omaha this season.
After posting wins in its first two games, Drake found itself on the losing end last time out. The Bulldogs traveled to Moraga, California for a bout with St. Mary's but they fell short to the Gaels in a 67-63 decision. Drake will take part in the Fresno State Classic next when it faces the host Bulldogs to kick off the three-day event.
This is the first meeting between these programs since 1979 when Drake recorded a 104-80 victory in Des Moines. The win was the seventh in as many meetings for the Bulldogs against the Mavericks.
The Mavericks controlled the tempo all night against South Carolina State, forcing 21 turnovers while only committing six themselves. All the miscues for South Carolina State led to 23 points for the Mavericks, who also had a 34-16 advantage on points in the paint.
Despite only shooting 42.2 percent from the floor this season the Mavericks are still scoring an impressive 81.2 points per game. Defensively Omaha is also limiting teams to 40.4 percent shooting. CJ Carter (15.8 ppg) is the primary offensive weapon for the Mavericks and one of four players scoring in double figures. Carter took a backseat against South Carolina State and netted just four points but he had scored in double figures in the first four games of the year. Devin Patterson (11.8 ppg, 4.4 apg) can score and distribute as he showed against South Carolina State with 12 point and eight assists, while John Karhoff (11.2 ppg) is another double-digit scorer. Marcus Tyus (10.4 ppg) is the lead reserve and scored a game-high 24 points on Tuesday.
Against the Gaels Drake trailed by 18 points in the second half but they chipped away at the deficit and pulled to within a single point with 4:33 to play. However the Bulldogs missed five of their final seven field goal tries as the comeback attempt fell short.
Even in a loss the Bulldogs' impressive defensive play continued. Drake held Saint Mary's to just 40.3 percent shooting. On the year the Bulldogs have held foes to 58.3 points per game and a field goal percentage of 37.8. On the other end the Bulldogs are shooting 47.8 percent from the field and netting 76 points per game. Richard Carter (23.3 ppg) has been steering the way for Drake on the offensive end. Carter had 18 points against Saint Mary's, while shooting a season-low 37.5 percent from the floor. Gary Ricks (10.0 ppg) is the only other player scoring in double figures for the Bulldogs. Blake Danielak (7.7 ppg), Daddy Ugbede and Jacob Enevold (7.0 ppg) are the next best scoring options.
With how well the Bulldogs have played on defense this season they should be able to neutralize Carter and keep the Mavericks from getting into a rhythm at the offensive end.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Drake 71, Nebraska Omaha 61
11/23 10:36:14 ET