UNC Wilmington (3-3) at Marshall (2-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 23, 12 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Cam Henderson Center (9,043) -- Huntington, West Virginia. Television: None. Home Record: UNCW 1-0, MU 2-1. Away Record: UNCW 2-3, MU 0-1. Neutral Record: UNCW 0-0, MU 0-0. Conference Record: UNCW 0-0, MU 0-0. Series Record: Series tied, 2-2.
GAME NOTES: The Marshall Thundering Herd will try to bounce back from back-to- back overtime losses as they host the UNC Wilmington Seahawks as part of the Roundhouse Classic at the Cam Henderson Center.
UNC Wilmington fell to 3-3 on the season on Thursday when it was defeated, 73-58, by Western Kentucky on the road. The loss snapped the Seahawks' three- game winning streak than consisted of victories over Charles Southern (80-78), Wingate (80-61) and Liberty (87-76). Although they are sitting at the .500 mark, the Seahawks have been outscored by just under 10 points per game and held to 37.5 percent shooting from the floor on the season.
The Thundering Herd led at halftime in both of their losses to Morehead State and Stephen F. Austin, but allowed their opponents to tie the score before the second half buzzer sounded and lost in overtime of both games. Marshall has been very efficient on the offensive end en route to an average of 92.8 points per game on 50.6 percent shooting from the field, but it is allowing 82 ppg.
This will be the fifth meeting in history between these schools. Marshall won last season's meeting, 61-58, to tie the all-time series.
UNCW continued to struggle offensively versus WKU as it hit on just 40.4 percent of its field goal attempts with only three makes on 15 attempts from 3-point range. It also converted only 9-of-16 at the charity stripe and finished with nine assists against 13 turnovers. Cedrick Williams paced the team with 13 points and eight rebounds while Addison Spruill tallied 11 points on 5-of-14 shooting from the floor. Williams is leading the team on the season with 14.7 ppg and has converted 59.3 percent of his field goal tries. Spruill is shooting only 32.9 percent from the floor to add 12.5 ppg. Shane Reybold is the Seahawks' top rebounder with 7.2 per game. Ben Eblen is not much of an offensive threat, but does most of the ball handling and has racked up 23 assists with only 12 turnovers.
The Herd have a pair of players who are on pace to earn All-Conference USA honors by the season's end. Elijah Pittman has been sensational, averaging 28 points and 5.8 rebounds per outing. Freshman point guard Kareem Canty is chipping in 16.5 points and eight assists per tilt. Ryan Taylor is adding 13 points in only 20 minutes per contest, but Marshall lacks a reliable scorer beyond its top three. Canty had a rough outing versus SFA as he finished 4- of-18 from the floor including just 1-of-9 from beyond the arc. Marshall has gone 5-of-16 from the field in overtime.
The Thundering Herd's growing frustration should come to an end on Saturday. UNCW does not have the firepower to keep pace with Marshall, which has let its inexperience prevent it from closing out games. The Seahawks will need to start knocking down shots from the outside to stand a chance, or the hosts will run away to an easy decision.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Marshall 78, UNC Wilmington 69
11/23 10:34:32 ET