ULM (7-10) at Texas State (6-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 6, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Strahan Coliseum (7,200) -- San Marcos, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: ULM 4-3, TSU 3-6. Away Record: ULM 3-7, TSU 1-8. Neutral Record: ULM 0-0, TSU 2-1. Conference Record: ULM 4-5, TSU 2-6. Series Record: ULM leads, 22-17.
GAME NOTES: Two struggling squads will square off in Sun Belt Conference action, as the ULM Warhawks visit the Texas State Bobcats at Strahan Coliseum on Thursday night.
Despite playing three of its last four games at home, ULM has just a single win in its last four bouts. The Warhawks are now 7-10 overall, with their 66-50 loss to Louisiana last Saturday also pushing them below .500 in conference play (4-5). They will return home to host Texas-Arlington next.
Meanwhile, Texas State has dropped four of its last five outings, continuing a rather dismal season. The Bobcats are only 6-15 overall, with a success rate of 2-6 against the rest of the Sun Belt. They will face Louisiana in the second part of this two-game homestand.
If the first meeting between these two teams earlier this season is any indication, this will not be a particularly close game. Texas State routed ULM in a 61-36 final in Monroe on Jan. 11, marking its fourth win in the last five matchups in the series, which ULM still leads, 22-17.
Despite a 16-point, 11-rebound effort from Tylor Ongwae, the Warhawks were unable to collect a win over Louisiana. ULM only connected on 35.2 percent of its shots from the floor, while being outscored 50-20 in the paint.
With Amos Olatayo (13.2 ppg) out for the foreseeable future after undergoing knee surgery, Ongwae (16.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg) is the only player on the roster averaging in double figures for ULM. Ongwae is hitting 43.6 percent of his shots from the field and has been in double figures in all but two games this season. Jayon James (9.4 ppg, 6 rpg) is shooting 49.2 percent from the floor, while leading the team in rebounds. However, James was held scoreless against Louisiana. As a team, ULM is next-to-last in the Sun Belt in scoring (65.5 ppg).
Texas State fell just short in its upset bid of Western Kentucky last Saturday, falling in a 68-64 final. The Bobcats sank 46.8 percent of their total shots, but they were outscored from beyond the arc (21-15), as well as off turnovers (15-10).
The only team having more trouble on offense than ULM in the SBC is Texas State. The Bobcats are only putting in 63.1 ppg this season, while shooting 44.4 percent from the floor. They do make up some of the difference on defense, limiting foes to 66.4 ppg. Joel Wright (14.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg) and Emani Gant (10.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg) are the most reliable scoring options on the roster. Wright finished with 18 points against Western Kentucky, while Gant was held to eight points. Wes Davis (8.6 ppg) nearly doubled his season average in the loss, tallying 16 points.
When these teams last met, Texas State shut down ULM and won rather easily. Although they may not win by such a large margin, the Bobcats should still come out on top now that they are hosting.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas State 68, ULM 60
02/06 10:20:48 ET