Southeastern Louisiana (10-14) at Winthrop (11-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 23, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Winthrop Coliseum (6,100) -- Rock Hill, South Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: SE Louisiana 7-3, Winthrop 9-4. Away Record: SE Louisiana 3-11, Winthrop 2-11. Neutral Record: SE Louisiana 0-0, Central Arkansas 0-0. Conference Record: SE Louisiana 8-6, Winthrop 5-9. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAMES NOTES: The Southeastern Louisiana Lions and the Winthrop Eagles will clash in a BracketBusters matchup at Winthrop Coliseum on Saturday afternoon.
The Lions are coming into this non-conference tussle with losses in two of their last three contest. The most recent setback was a 65-58 loss to McNeese State for the Lions who are currently just 10-14 overall, while in fourth place in the Southland Conference standings (8-6). On the road the Lions have won just three of 14 total matchups as they begin this three-game road trip that continues against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi next.
Meanwhile, Winthrop has been on the losing end of four of its last five games following a 65-52 loss to Gardner-Webb on Tuesday. The Eagles are also suffering with a below .500 overall record (11-15) but the Eagles aren't among the top teams in the Big South Conference with a record of 5-9 in league bouts. The Eagles have just two games left on the schedule following this contest with a trip to face Coastal Carolina before a home game against UNC Asheville.
This matchup will mark the first meeting ever between these two programs.
In its loss to McNeese State, the Lions managed to record only 19 field goals and shoot 38 percent from the field in the setback. The Lions were also on the short end of a 38-26 deficit in rebounds. Jeffery Ricard had a team-high 17 points in the losing effort.
The Lions aren't a particularly strong offensive team. They are scoring just 62.4 points per game and shooting only 40.2 percent from the floor. Failing to move the ball as a team has been a big concern as the Lions assist on just 9.6 field goals per game, which is one of the 15 worst marks in the nation. Brandon Fortenberry (14.3 ppg) is the top scorer on the team despite shooting under 40 percent from the field. Roosevelt Johnson (10.9 ppg, 8.5 rpg) is a solid anchor on the interior, while Ricard (8.8 ppg) could be scoring more consistently if not for his erratic shooting (.357).
Winthrop got out to a 30-24 lead against Gardner-Webb at halftime but crumbled over the final 20 minutes. The Eagles recorded just seven field goals and hit only 1-of-7 attempts from beyond the arc in the second period. The Eagles were doubled up on points off turnovers (22-11) and had a 37-23 deficit in rebounds.
The Eagles are another team that has struggled when controlling the ball. The Eagles are scoring just 60.1 points per game on 41.8 percent shooting. Winthrop also assists on less than 10 field goal attempts per contest but has kept teams in range by letting up just 61.5 points per game. Derrick Henry (11.4 ppg) is the only player on the roster scoring in double figures, although Gideon Gamble (9.7 ppg), Joab Jerome (9.6 ppg) and Andre Smith (9.0 ppg) all have carried the offense at one time or another. Jerome has been particularly strong of late, scoring in double figures in five of the last six games.
Expect a low-scoring affair in this matchup. Fortenberry may be the best scorer on the team on paper but his reliance on shots from the outside could be a detriment on the road.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Winthrop 61, Southeastern Louisiana 59
02/23 10:46:51 ET