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TCU (2-2) at Alaska Anchorage (5-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 27, 2 a.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Sullivan Arena (8,700) -- Anchorage, Alaska. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: TCU 1-1, Anchorage 3-0. Away Record: TCU 1-0, Anchorage 0-0. Neutral Record: TCU 0-1, Anchorage 2-1. Conference Record: TCU 0-0, Anchorage 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.
GAME NOTES: The first round of the Great Alaska Shootout concludes with a late night showdown between the TCU Horned Frogs and the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves at Sullivan Arena.
Trent Johnson's Horned Frogs have split their first four games of the 2013-14 season. After starting the year with back-to-back losses, TCU has evened up its record with consecutive victories over Abilene Christian (71-64) and most recently, Washington State (64-62).
Rusty Osborne's Seawolves play in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in the Division II ranks. Alaska Anchorage is off to a fast start to its season with five wins in the first six games. The lone loss came against Cal State Dominguez Hills (88-81), but the team has responded with three wins since, including a 90-73 blasting of Holy Names last time out.
This is the third time these teams are meeting. The series is tied at 1-1, but this is the first matchup since 1996. The winner of this game will take on either Indiana State or Tulsa in Friday's second round.
The Horned Frogs are scoring (68.8 ppg) almost as much as they are allowing the opposition (69.2 ppg) and that is the reason for the .500 record. TCU did get a big boost with the return of Amric Fields, who missed the first three games of the season but had a successful debut against the Cougars last time out. In his absence, players like Jarvis Ray (14.5 ppg), Kyan Anderson (11.8 ppg) and Brandon Parrish (10.3 ppg) have shouldered the scoring responsibilities.
Field made his presence felt immediately in the win over Washington State, as he scored a team-high tying 16 points, on 7-of-9 shooting. Ray and Anderson also added 16 points apiece for the Horned Frogs, who had to hold on for the win in Pullman, after going into halftime with an 11-point lead.
The Seawolves are a strong team with good scoring balance this season. Alaska Anchorage is averaging 84.8 ppg and doing so on .460 shooting. In addition, the Seawolves have taken good care of the basketball, averaging just 8.7 turnovers per game, while forcing 15 per outing. The team primarily sticks to a quarter of scorers, led by Travis Thompson's 23.3 ppg. Teancum Stafford can fill up the basket as well at 17.0 ppg, followed closely by Brian McGill and Kyle Fossman at 16.7 ppg apiece. The Seawolves utilize the 3-pointer a great deal, averaging 11.8 makes per game.
The Seawolves aren't going to be intimidated by anyone in the tournament field. If the home team can knock down some early long-range bombs, then TCU might find itself in the consolation round.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Alaska Anchorage 75, TCU 72
11/27 10:41:24 ET