Northeastern (2-4) at Virginia Commonwealth (4-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 29, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Stuart C. Siegel Center (7,500) -- Richmond, Virginia. Television: CSN+, SNY, CBS 6.1. Home Record: NU 1-0, VCU 2-0. Away Record: NU 0-1, VCU 1-0. Neutral Record: NU 1-3, VCU 1-2. Conference Record: NU 0-0, VCU 0-0.
GAME NOTES: Having lost two of their last three games, the Rams of Virginia Commonwealth are hoping that a break for Thanksgiving will be help turn around their fortunes, and they will take to the floor tonight at the Siegel Center against the visiting Northeastern Huskies.
Northeastern too has had a rough go of it this season, sandwiching a pair of two-game losing streaks around its only two victories. The team was most recently in action against Florida State, and while it fought valiantly, it suffered yet another defeat in a 62-60 final. The Huskies have played only one home game this season, but following this clash they'll head back to Boston where they will play their next two -- against Harvard and UAB.
VCU began the season as one the team's lucky enough to be ranked in the AP Top-25, but losses in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off to Florida State (85-67) and Georgetown (84-80) have the team on the outside looking in this week. The Rams are 2-0 at home, and beginning tonight, will play four of their next six in Richmond.
Northeastern is averaging the same number of points as it allows (69.7 ppg), and the team is shooting 45.6 percent from the field and 35.0 percent from 3- point range. Scott Eatherton (16.2 ppg) leads the way in scoring, and he is joined in double figures by Reggie Spencer (11.7 ppg) and David Walker (11.2 ppg). Eatherton also paces the team's rebounding effort with 11.0 rpg, earning his place among a select number of players nationally to be averaging a double-double. Eatherton finished with a line of 21 points and 15 boards in the recent loss to Florida State, as he shot 8-of-12 from the field, helping the team as a whole knock down 46.9 percent of its total shots. Walker and Spencer added 13 points apiece for the Huskies, who wound up going just 2-of-8 from beyond the arc, while committing 18 turnovers. They did however, hold the Seminoles to only 38.3 percent shooting, which included the same 2-of-8 showing from long range.
Offensive production hasn't really been an issue for the Rams this season, as the team averages 81.5 ppg behind typical shooting efforts of .568 overall and .366 from 3-point land. VCU is +6.3 in rebounding margin, but is coughing the ball up roughly 17 times per outing. Defensively, the team is allowing 66.5 ppg, with foes shooting just 38.1 percent from the field, which includes a 28.2 percent effort from beyond the arc. Briante Weber had an outstanding game in the loss to Georgetown last Sunday, hitting 8-of-12 shots from the floor in netting 22 points, while Treveon Graham finished with 17 points and nine rebounds. VCU made good on only 35.7 percent of its field goal attempts, making a third of its 18 3-point tries. The two teams combined for 61 personal fouls, with the Hoyas going 32-of-37 at the free throw line, and the Rams 34- of-47.
As good as Eatherton is, one man does not a team make, putting the Huskies at a big disadvantage as they take on a very good VCU squad on the road.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Virginia Commonwealth 76, Northeastern 61
11/29 10:49:13 ET