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Prairie View (13-18) vs. Alcorn State (10-23)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 14, 9 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Curtis Culwell Center (7,000) -- Garland, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: Prairie View 9-4, Alcorn State 5-8. Away Record: Prairie View 3-13, Alcorn State 4-14. Neutral Record: Prairie View 1-1, Alcorn State 1-1. Conference Record: Prairie View 8-10, Alcorn State 8-10. Series Record: Alcorn State leads, 52-18.
GAME NOTES: The postseason gets underway for a couple of disappointing programs on Thursday night, as the Prairie View Panthers challenge the Alcorn State Braves in the quarterfinals of the 36th annual Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament at the Culwell Center in Garland, Texas.
Fourth-seeded Prairie View, which has just once championship to its credit from way back in 1998, came close to leveling its overall record this season, but part of the problem was that at no time did the Panthers ever win more than back-to-back in any stretch as the offense sputtered more often than not.
Meanwhile, the third-seeded Braves kicked off the 2012-13 campaign rather auspiciously with just two wins through the 2012 calendar year, with one of those coming in the opener versus Oakwood. The team did perform better as the season wore on, but still the squad comes into this event having fallen in six of the last seven outings.
Alcorn State won both meetings during the regular season first posting a 68-54 triumph at home in early January and then picking up an 81-75 decision on the road just a few weeks ago. As a result of the sweep, the Braves now lead by a count of 52-18 dating back to the 1980-81 campaign.
The survivor of this contest will take on the winner of the Alabama State/Jackson State battle in the semifinals on Friday afternoon.
Picking the wrong time for the offense to go south, the Panthers scored just 39 against Southern in the regular-season finale earlier this month. The leading scorer for the Panthers in each of the last four outings, Jourdan DeMuynck is also the only player on the roster averaging in double figures on the entire season with his 15.4 ppg. Also first in rebounding (6.6 rpg) and steals (43), DeMuynck tried his hand at 3-point shooting (32-of-100) and was met with mixed results. Carl Blair (9.7 ppg) also tried to establish himself as a perimeter threat, but in shooting just 23.2 percent beyond the arc, it became obvious that Blair's talents lie elsewhere, such as passing the ball which he did to the tune of 145 assists.
Although he appeared in just 22 of 33 games this season, Marquiz Baker still played well enough to lead the squad in scoring in four of the last five games and on the campaign overall with 16.6 ppg. However, those points did come at a steep price seeing as how he shot not just 34.7 percent from the field on the season, but also a disappointing 28.7 percent behind the 3-point line as well. LeAntwan Luckett (13.2 ppg) and Anthony Nieves (11.6 ppg) chipped in at the offensive end of the floor, but unfortunately the former tended to get too physical at the other end and consequently fouled out of six contests. Shooting just 62.2 percent at the free-throw line and 38.6 percent from the field, Alcorn State compiled only 60.5 ppg on the season.
With a number of other options at their disposal, the Braves seem to have the personnel to make it through this round of action and perhaps beyond.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Alcorn State 67, Prairie View 63
03/14 10:36:59 ET