College of Charleston (9-7) at Hofstra (4-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 11, 4 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mack Sports Complex (5,023) -- Hempstead, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Coll. of Charleston 5-4, Hofstra 3-4. Away Record: Coll. of Charleston 3-1, Hofstra 0-6. Neutral Record: Coll. of Charleston 1-2, Hofstra 1-1. Conference Record: Coll. of Charleston 1-0, Hofstra 0-1. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The College of Charleston Cougars look to improve on a four-game win streak as they host the Hofstra Pride in a Colonial Athletic Association battle at the Mack Sports Complex on Saturday.
Charleston fell below the .500 mark record-wise prior to the holiday break, but has since come out storming, winning four in a row and fighting to a 9-7 record. The Cougars are fresh off a 75-61 rout of James Madison, which opened up CAA play for the Cougars.
Hofstra, on the other hand, is just trying to stay afloat with a 4-11 record. The Pride have lost three games in a row and five of their last six, including an 86-79 setback at the hands of Delaware on Wednesday. It was Hofstra's first CAA game this season.
This will be the first-ever meeting between the new CAA rivals. They will play again later this season on Feb. 1 at Charleston.
The Cougars tied a season high with 12 made 3-pointers against James Madison, as Charleston ran away with a win in the team's first-ever CAA game. Anthony Stitt scored a game-high 23 points against the Dukes on 7-of-13 shooting from the floor. Stitt hit 5-of-8 shots from beyond the 3-point arc. Nori Johnson scored 18 points and contributed another five 3-pointers for Charleston. Anthony Thomas netted 10 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for a double- double.
Despite only scoring two points against James Madison, Willis Hall still leads the team in scoring at 11.3 ppg this season. The forward is also grabbing a team-high 9.7 rpg and shooting an impressive 47.1 percent from the floor. Stitt is second on the team, netting 10.3 ppg. The guard has dished out a team-high 48 assists this season, and is tops with 18 total steals. The Cougars are averaging 63.8 ppg, but are holding teams to 62 ppg.
Hofstra tried to make a late run at Delaware Wednesday to snatch a win, but the comeback attempt fell short for the Pride. Zeke Upshaw scored a team-high 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the loss. Upshaw hit 6-of-12 from the floor on the night, including 4-of-9 from 3-point distance. Both Jordan Allen and Dion Nesmith added 18 points, while Stephen Nwaukoni pulled down a team- high 11 rebounds.
Upshaw, a graduate student at Hofstra, leads the team by far in scoring with 18.9 ppg. Nesmith is next at 13.4 ppg and leading the team in steals with 11. Nesmith has played in three fewer games, though. Nwaukoni is the team's leading rebounder at 8 rpg. The big man is shooting an impressive 57.1 percent from the floor, although he averages 6.5 ppg. The Pride have had trouble containing their opponents, allowing them to score 74.6 ppg.
Hofstra's play has been underwhelming in its last four games, while Charleston has taken advantage of being in the CAA so far. The Cougars have a deep and talented team that will push for a longer winning streak.
Sports Network predicted outcome: College of Charleston 76, Hofstra 68
01/11 10:31:20 ET