Abilene Christian (2-7) at Towson (5-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 30, 1 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: SECU Arena (5,200) -- Towson, Maryland. Television: None. Home Record: ACU 0-6, Towson 5-0. Away Record: ACU 0-6, Towson 0-2. Neutral Record: ACU 2-1, Towson 0-0. Conference Record: ACU 0-0, Towson 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Abilene Christian Wildcats and the Towson Tigers will meet at SECU Arena on Saturday afternoon as part of the Battle 4 Atlantis Mainland tournament.
Since winning back-to-back games last weekend over Western New Mexico (62-44) and Northern New Mexico College (78-56), Abilene Christian has since dropped two straight to dip to 2-7 on the season. The Wildcats squared off with West Alabama on Friday night and fell in a 77-67 final.
Towson opened its hosting duties in this event with a convincing 84-59 triumph over The Citadel. It was the Tigers' second straight win coming on the heels of back-to-back road losses to Kansas (88-58) and Villanova (78-44), and they are now 5-2 on the season with all of their wins coming at SECU Arena.
This bout marks the first-ever meeting between these two programs.
The Wildcats put forth a lackluster shooting effort in their latest contest, making less than 39 percent of their field goal attempts, and foul trouble allowed West Alabama to go 30-of-33 from the charity stripe. Harrison Hawkins was one of the few bright spots in the setback with 21 points, but he did so on just 4-of-14 from the floor. Parker Wentz drained 5-of-10 from 3-point range for 15 points. It's no surprise Abilene Christian sports such a poor record when analyzing its season statistics, as it lives in the red in terms of scoring (-15.2), rebounding (-4.3) and turnover (-4.0) margins. Hawkins leads the way with 12.6 points per game, but he has hurt the team more than he's helped with an awful 29.2 percent effort from the field. LaDarrien Williams (10.3 ppg) has handed out 32 assists and Wentz (9.7 ppg) has made 23- of-51 beyond the arc.
Although their last game was tied late in the first half, the Tigers finished the frame on an 18-4 run to take a 39-25 lead into intermission and they never looked back from there. They shot a modest 43.1 percent from the field, but made 10 3-pointers and dominated the rebounding battle, 48-33. Four McGylnn led the way with 19 points on 4-of-7 from 3-point range. Mike Burwell added 17 points and six assists, while Marcus Damas and Jerrelle Benimon added 16 and 13 points, respectively. Towson's offense has been rather mediocre in the early going this season, as it makes 42.2 percent of its field goal tries for 71.9 points per game, but it only allows 67.7 points per contest to the opposition. Benimon is off to an outstanding start with 17.6 points, 10.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.0 blocks per game. Damas (11.9 ppg) and Guthrie (11.1 ppg) are both solid complementary scoring options.
Abilene Christian has not shown much of anything against worthy competition this season, and with a much superior Towson squad playing on its home floor, the Wildcats have very little shot in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Towson 91, Abilene Christian 61
11/30 10:35:33 ET