Alabama State (4-3) at Tulane (5-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 21, 3 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Devlin Fieldhouse (3,600) -- New Orleans, Louisiana. Television: None. Home Record: ASU 3-0, Tulane 4-3. Away Record: ASU 1-3, Tulane 1-1. Neutral Record: ASU 0-0, Tulane 0-2. Conference Record: ASU 0-0, Tulane 0-0. Series Record: Tulane leads, 5-0.
GAME NOTES: The Tulane Classic will get underway on Saturday as the host Green Wave receive a challenge from the Alabama State Hornets at Devlin Fieldhouse.
The Hornets are traveling to the Big Easy with some momentum on their side. With wins in four of their last five games they have improved to 4-3 this season, though they remain a paltry 1-3 on the road. Alabama State will match up with Milwaukee in the final part of the two-day event on Sunday.
While the Hornets have been rising, Tulane has been sinking. The Green Wave have lost four of their last five bouts, including a 73-62 setback at Devlin Fieldhouse against Washington on Tuesday. They are now 5-6 on the season with a middling 4-3 mark at home. The final bout for the hosts in this event will be against Northeastern.
Tulane has never lost to Alabama State in five all-time meetings. The most recent matchup came in 2010 when the Green Wave secured an 84-69 victory.
In a low-scoring affair against Western Illinois, the Hornets were able to secure a 59-52 victory last time out. Alabama State doubled up the Leathernecks in points off turnovers (18-9), a critical advantage in a game in which both teams shot below 40 percent from the floor.
Despite their winning record, the Hornets actually have a negative ledger on the scoreboard this season (-0.9). They are scoring 71.7 points per game on 43.8 percent shooting, while opponents are netting 47.2 percent from the field. Jamel Waters (15.9 ppg, 5.9 apg) is clearly the most important player on the roster as the leading scorer as well as the team's top passer. Waters had 15 points and six assists against Western Illinois, but he had a rough night shooting (6-of-15). DeMarcus Robinson (13.1 ppg) is the only other double-figure scoring threat on the roster, while Bobby Brown (8.3 ppg) does solid work off the bench.
Jonathan Stark poured in a game-high 25 points but it wasn't enough for Tulane to top Washington at home. The Green Wave only connected on 39.3 percent of their tries from the floor in the contest, while hitting on just 1-of-14 shots from beyond the arc.
Considering how close to the .500 level they are, the Green Wave have not been enjoying as slim a scoring margin (-4.8) as the Panthers overall. Tulane is letting up 75 points per game on 48.5 percent shooting, while being outscored by nearly five points per game. A trio of prolific scorers leads the way for the Green Wave, led by Louis Dabney (20.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg). Dabney did manage 16 points against Washington but he connected on just 5-of-17 shots and was off the mark on all five of his attempts from beyond the arc. Stark (17.8 ppg, 4.8 apg) is another potent scorer as well as a solid player when it comes to moving the ball. Jay Hook (16.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg) scores and leads the team in rebounds.
Even though these teams have been headed in opposite directions, Tulane has been facing much stiffer competition. The Green Wave's trio of scorers should be able to score against a relatively weak defensive unit in Alabama State.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tulane 78, Alabama State 68
12/21 11:16:22 ET