SIU Edwardsville (1-2) vs. UC Davis (1-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 22, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Peter W. Stott Center (1,500) -- Portland, Oregon. Television: None. Home Record: SIUE 1-1, UC Davis 1-0. Away Record: SIUE 0-1, UC Davis 0-2. Neutral Record: SIUE 0-0, UC Davis 0-0. Conference Record: SIUE 0-0, UC Davis 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The first-ever meeting between the UC Davis Aggies and the Cougars of SIU Edwardsville takes place on a neutral floor today as the teams tip off their portion of the Portland State Tournament at the Stott Center.
After losing back-to-back games out of the gate to the likes of Arkansas and Saint Louis, the Cougars finally landed in the win column last weekend with a 100-93 decision versus Central Arkansas. SIU Edwardsville is under the direction of head coach Lennox Forrester, now in his seventh season, and just the second for the program at the Division I level.
As for the Aggies, they too have won only one of their first three outings of the season. In between setbacks to Portland (100-83) in the season opener and Utah (94-60) a week ago the team captured a lopsided 80-54 victory over Holy Names.
Over the next two days these teams will also match up with Loyola-Chicago and Portland State to complete the event.
Against Central Arkansas the Cougars survived 18 turnovers by shooting 55.9 percent from the field and 30-of-37 at the free-throw line, allowing them to lead almost from start to finish. Tim Johnson led six players in double figures with 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the floor, followed by Donivine Stewart with 15 points. Christian Salecich chipped in with 13 points and eight assists, Keaton Jackson 12 points, Michael Messer 11 and Rozell Nunn 10 points in 18 minutes off the bench.
Despite the huge scoring burst the last time out, SIUE is still being outscored by 17.0 ppg, giving up a hefty 91.3 ppg to the competition. Those opponents have been allowed to shoot not only 50.8 percent from the field, but also 44.4 percent beyond the arc. Offensively, Johnson and Stewart lead the attack for the Cougars with 13.3 and 12.7 ppg, respectively.
At the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, the Aggies watched as Utah made good on not only 56.7 percent from the field in the first half but also 64.3 percent after the break in order to bury the visitors. UC Davis starters Rush Ritchart and Corey Hawkins produced 11 points apiece, while reserve Brynton Lemar accounted for a team-best 14 points and four steals. The Aggies shot only 33.8 percent from the floor and 4-of-25 behind the 3-point line.
Ritchart, shooting 62.1 percent, leads the group with his 15.0 ppg after three outings, while Ryan Sypkens, who made good on only 3-of-13 from the floor and 2-of-10 beyond the arc in the last game, checks in with 14.7 ppg. Strangely enough, Sypkens is actually the most accomplished perimeter sniper for UC Davis this season with his 12-of-26 (.462) effort. Hawkins and Lemar are responsible for 13.5 and 12.0 ppg, respectively, but still this is a team that is being outscored by more than eight points per contest.
Sypkens came up short in his efforts the last time out, but that was against much stiffer competition so it is assumed he and the Aggies will come out much more favorably this time around.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UC Davis 72, SIU Edwardsville 64
11/22 10:40:38 ET