SIU Edwardsville (4-11) at Jacksonville State (7-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 9, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Pete Mathews Coliseum (5,500) -- Jacksonville, Alabama. Television: None. Home Record: SIUE 4-3, Jacksonville State 5-1. Away Record: SIUE 0-6, Jacksonville State 1-9. Neutral Record: SIUE 0-2, Jacksonville State 1-1. Conference Record: SIUE 1-1, Jacksonville State 1-2. Series Record: Jacksonville State leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: After suffering losses in five of their last seven games, the SIU Edwardsville Cougars are looking to improve upon a down season as they travel to face the Jacksonville State Gamecocks in Ohio Valley Conference action Thursday.
The Cougars went on a four-game losing streak before the holiday break, but have since won two of their last three and look to build upon that as they continue on in OVC play. SIUE defeated Eastern Kentucky, 85-79, at home Saturday.
Jacksonville State is struggling of late, as the Gamecocks have lost their last two games to OVC opponents, including a 70-65 setback at Tennessee State Saturday. The Gamecocks are 2-3 in their last five games.
JSU has a one-game lead on SIUE in the all-time series, 2-1. The Gamecocks won the most recent contest - a 75-62 beating last January at Edwardsville.
The Cougars are looking to change the tide in the series, but must do it with a 4-11 record in the midst of conference play this season. Against Eastern Kentucky, four SIUE players scored double figures to help the team overcome a tough Colonels team for the 85-79 win. Donivine Stewart scored a team-high 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting in the game, but turned the ball over seven times. The Cougars as a unit turned the ball over 19 times in the win. Michael Messer netted 13 points and grabbed five rebounds off the bench, while Tim Johnson scored 12 and Kris Davis added 11.
Stewart is the only Cougar this season averaging double digits with 11.3 ppg. The next closest on the roster is Maurice Wiltz with 9.3 ppg in 20 minutes of action per night. The Cougars as a team score an average of 72.7 ppg on 45.6 percent shooting from the floor.
Tennessee State never held a double-digit lead against Jacksonville State Saturday, but held on for the eventual win despite several comeback attempts, 70-65. Brian Williams led the Gamecocks with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 5-of-7 from the free-throw line. D.J. Felder contributed 14 points and six rebounds, while Avery Moore netted 13. JSU shot a poor 29.4 percent from beyond the 3-point arc, while Tennessee State hit 47.1 percent from distance.
Darion Rackley leads the Gamecocks this season in scoring with 13.2 ppg, though his average dropped significantly after a 2-point performance against Tennessee State. Rackley is shooting a sub-par 39.9 percent from the floor, and 28.4 percent from 3-point range. Williams is second on the roster with 10.8 ppg and leads the team in assists with 65 total. Jacksonville State averages 67.6 ppg on 43.3 percent shooting this season.
Both teams have struggled lately, but an underwhelming performance from Rackley against Tennessee State may have been the cause for the loss. If he's back on his game, the Gamecocks should get the win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Jacksonville State 73, SIU Edwardsville 65
01/09 10:39:04 ET