Northern Kentucky (1-4) vs. Southeast Missouri State (3-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 29, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Puerto Vallarta International Convention Center -- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Television: None. Home Record: NKU 0-2, SEMO 2-0. Away Record: NKU 1-2, SEMO 1-2. Neutral Record: NKU 0-0, SEMO 0-0. Conference Record: NKU 0-0, SEMO 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: In the second game of the opening round of the Cure UCD Classic at the Puerto Vallarta International Convention Center, the Northern Kentucky Norse will go head-to-head with the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks on Friday night.
For the first time this season the Norse were able to land in the win column as they slipped by Tulane in overtime, 91-86, last Saturday. Prior to the victory, Northern Kentucky had been bogged down with losses in four straight games to start the campaign.
Although the Redhawks have not been immensely successful this season, they have managed to put together a few more victories and are actually sitting above .500. SEMO has won three of its last four games since an 87-65 rout from Saint Louis in the season opener.
These teams have never before matched up on the basketball court.
Tyler White's layup with four seconds to play forced overtime and the Norse hit 6-of-7 field goal attempts in the extra session to collect their first win. Northern Kentucky hit 10-of-23 shots from beyond the arc and netted 56.6 percent of their field goal tries in the victory,
Most games haven't been so close for Northern Kentucky, which is suffering from a sizable scoring deficit on the year (-14). The Norse are letting up 81 points per game and foes have been successful on 49.1 percent of their shots from the floor. Northern Kentucky hasn't been able to keep pace, netting only 38.2 percent from the floor. Jalen Billups (10.8 ppg) is one of only two double-figurer scorers for the Norse. Billups has fit in both as a reserve and as a starter this year. He was off the bench against Tulane and stepped up to score a team-high 25 points on 10-of-11 shooting. Jordan Jackson (12.7 ppg) White (9.5 ppg) are the next best options.
SEMO went up against an NAIA foe last time out and cruised to victory over Mid-Continent. The Redhawks posted a 109-64 triumph in the contest by netting 52.5 percent of their shots from the floor, while holding huge advantages from the paint (60-32) and on the boards (56-34).
Offensive firepower like they had against Mid-Continent has not been a common theme for the Redhawks. SEMO is netting 90 points per game and connecting on 48.2 percent of their shots from the floor. The Redhawks are also posting strong numbers in assists (20.4 pg) and rebounding (40.4 pg) each time on the floor. Tyler Stone (23.3 ppg, 12.7 rpg) helps on the scoreboard and the glass as he leading scorer and rebounder. Jarekious Bradley (19.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg) is another force in the frontcourt both on the scoreboard and the glass. Darrian Gray (12.0 ppg) and Antonius Cleveland (11.8 ppg) provide more scoring depth.
A high-octane offense is not one the Norse are equipped to handle. Expect Stone and Bradley to dominate inside once again and help the Redhawks pick up another win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: SE Missouri State 87, Northern Kentucky 73
11/29 10:44:08 ET