Montana State (0-1) at UC Riverside (0-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 16, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Student Rec. Center (3,168) -- Riverside, California. Television: None. Home Record: MSU 0-1, UCR 0-1. Away Record: MSU 0-0, UCR 0-1. Neutral Record: MSU 0-0, UCR 0-0. Conference Record: MSU 0-0, UCR 0-0. Series Record: UC Riverside leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: The Montana State Bobcats head out on the road for the first time this season, as they clash with the Highlanders of UC Riverside in a non- conference bout at the Student Recreation Center.
The Bobcats have played only one game to this point in the season, an ugly 84-55 blowout loss versus Cal State Fullerton a week ago at home. Following this game the team heads to Mount Pleasant, Michigan next week for three games as part of the Central Michigan Tournament.
As for the Highlanders, they have dropped both of their games thus far in 2013-14, losing to San Diego State (77-41) in the season opener, and then going down versus Pepperdine on Wednesday night at home, 69-66.
In terms of the all-time series between these two schools, the Highlanders own a 2-1 advantage, with the most recent matchup taking place two seasons ago in Montana where UCR slipped by in a 75-73 final.
Montana State's season got off to a very rough start versus Fullerton last week, as the Bobcats shot only 8-of-26 (.308) from the floor in the first half and missed on all nine attempts behind the 3-point line, en route to the lopsided defeat. Paul Egwuonwu and Flavien Davis each tallied 10 points for the hosts, but that wasn't nearly enough to keep the team competitive as it converted only 34.0 percent from the field and 2-of-20 beyond the arc.
MSU is coming off a 2012-13 campaign in which it finished four games under .500 (13-17) and was a mere 3-10 on the road, losing all three non-conference road dates. The squad's top returning scorer is Davis who dropped in 11.2 ppg a year ago as he shot 49.4 percent from the field, but the team as a whole was just 42.7 percent accurate from the floor.
While the Highlanders weren't nearly as weak in the first half of their latest outing against Pepperdine, the team still had issues out on the perimeter (2- of-11) and finished 3-of-16 from 3-point range as it bowed to the Waves in the home opener three nights ago. Chris Harriel led the way with 15 points off the bench, starters Taylor Johns and Chris Patton pitched in with 13 and 12 points, respectively, while Lucas Devenny made all five of his field goals and finished with 10 points in 16 minutes of backup duty.
Unfortunately, the Highlanders are showing that offense is going to be an issue this year, averaging a mere 53.5 ppg on 38.2 percent shooting from the field. Even worse, the team has connected on a woeful 4-of-25 out on the perimeter and just 19-of-40 (.475) at the free-throw line. Johns stands as the unit's lone double-digit scorer with his 13.5 ppg.
Montana State is far from a dominant team, even in the Big Sky Conference, but you can be sure the offense for the Bobcats can still keep up and, quite possibly surpass that of the Highlanders.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Montana State 67, UC Riverside 64
11/16 10:39:12 ET