ULM (3-2) at Ole Miss (7-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, December 18, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Tad Smith Coliseum (8,700) -- Oxford, Mississippi. Television: CSS. Home Record: ULM 2-0, Ole Miss 4-1. Away Record: ULM 1-2, Ole Miss 1-1. Neutral Record: ULM 0-0, Ole Miss 2-0. Conference Record: ULM 0-0, Ole Miss 0-0. Series Record: Ole Miss leads, 14-4.
GAME NOTES: The Ole Miss Rebels continue their four-game homestand at Tad Smith Coliseum on Wednesday night when they take on the ULM Warhawks in a non- conference bout.
While most Division I teams participated in some sort of early-season tournament, ULM stayed pretty quiet in the first six weeks of the season in playing just five games. After piecing together a three-game winning streak, the Warhawks fell to 3-2 following a 61-54 loss at LSU on Saturday.
Ole Miss's season got off to a flying 6-0 start, which included wins over Georgia Tech (77-67) and Penn State (79-76) en route to the Barclays Classic championship in late November. Since losing back-to-back games at Kansas State (61-58) and versus Oregon (115-105 in OT), the Rebels found the win column again on Saturday in defeating Middle Tennessee, 72-63.
Ole Miss holds a 14-4 advantage in the all-time series. The Warhawks haven't defeated the Rebels since 1990.
Although the Warhawks lost their latest game by just seven points, the end result appeared much closer than the game actually was, as they trailed by 18 with under five minutes left before ending on a meaningless 11-0 run. They couldn't get much going offensively, shooting less than 36 percent from the field, including just 2-of-12 from 3-point range. Marvin Williams led the way with 14 points but also committed five turnovers. Tylor Ongwae and Amos Olatayo chipped in 12 and 11 points, respectively.
On the season, ULM scores 74.2 points per game, while allowing just 66.8 points on the other end of the floor. Its 3-point field-goal percentage defense (.227) is the best in the country, although it has responded by making just 31.7 percent from beyond the arc itself. Olatayo (16.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and Williams (12.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg) are strong in the frontcourt, each shooting greater than 57 percent from the field. Ongwae (12.6 ppg) and Jayon James (9.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 3.8 rpg) bring balance to the starting lineup.
The Rebels managed to outlast Middle Tennessee over the weekend by shooting a respectable 45.1 percent from the floor, outscoring their opponent at the foul line (19-11) and turning 14 Blue Raiders' turnovers into 25 points. Jarvis Summers was the catalyst in the triumph, scoring 25 points on 7-of-11 from the field and 8-of-11 from the free-throw line. Marshall Henderson netted 15 points, with all four of his field goals coming from 3-point range. LaDarius White added 11 points, and Aaron Jones rounded out the balanced effort with 10 points.
Even though Ole Miss shoots just 43.7 percent from the field this season, its up-tempo style has resulted in 80.8 points per game, 9.9 more than its allows on the other end, and it boasts a strong +2.9 turnover margin. Marshall Henderson's lackluster field goal percentage aside (.353), he's still the leading scorer with 17.9 points per game, and all but eight of his 42 made buckets have come from long distance. Summers (16.6 ppg) is a much more efficient shooter (.534), while Derrick Millinghaus (12.8 ppg) and Demarco Cox (8.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg) are also regular contributors.
ULM had some major shooting struggles on the road against an SEC foe its last time out, and while the Warhawks have enough talent to conceivably pull off an upset, expect Ole Miss to continue its success at home in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ole Miss 74, ULM 66
12/18 10:31:24 ET