Tennessee State (2-17) at Jacksonville State (8-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 16, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Pete Mathews Coliseum (5,500) -- Jacksonville, Alabama. Television: None. Home Record: TSU 2-5, JSU 6-2. Away Record: TSU 0-10, JSU 1-9. Neutral Record: TSU 0-2, JSU 1-1. Conference Record: TSU 1-4, JSU 2-3. Series Record: Tennessee State leads, 12-8.
GAME NOTES: The Jacksonville State Gamecocks will close out a three-game homestand on Thursday night, as they host the Tennessee State Tigers in an Ohio Valley Conference rematch at Pete Mathews Coliseum.
The Tigers surprised Jacksonville State earlier this month, when they captured a 70-65 victory on Jan. 4. The win was the fourth straight for Tennessee State against the Gamecocks, pushing its advantage in the all-time series to 12-8.
That win was one of only two in 19 total chances for Tennessee State this season. The Tigers have lost three straight since, with the most recent setback occurring on Monday when they dropped a 100-81 decision to Tennessee- Martin in the second leg of a three-game road trip. They will be at home for five of their next seven games, beginning this Saturday versus Belmont.
Jacksonville State has been suffering through a rough patch of its own lately, with losses in three of its last four bouts, including the letdown against the Tigers, The Gamecocks are currently 8-12 overall, including a 6-2 mark on their home floor. However, a visit to Eastern Kentucky is next on the docket.
Tennessee State's bout with UT-Martin was decided at the 3-point line, where the Skyhawks enjoyed a massive 33-6 scoring advantage. The Tigers didn't stop UTM much from the field overall, allowing the team to knock down 60.9 percent of its total shots.
Patrick Miller (22.4 ppg, 4.2 apg) added another impressive scoring performance to his resume' in the losing effort, netting 29 points to improve his already league-leading scoring average. Despite Miller's efforts, the Tigers are still one of the worst scoring teams in the OVC, netting just 68.3 ppg and shooting 41.7 percent from the field. The problem is that Miller does not get much help, with M.J. Rhett (10.4 ppg, 9.5 rpg) the only other player on the team scoring more than eight ppg. For what it's worth, Rhett is fourth in the league in rebounds.
Jacksonville State had one of its worst offensive showings of the season in the loss to Eastern Illinois, The Gamecocks shot just 33.3 percent from the floor, including a 6-of-23 effort from their starters. Teraes Clemmons came off the bench to net 12 points as the only player to reach double figures.
The Gamecocks are not a team that frequently piles up the points. They are netting just 66.3 ppg and connecting on 42.8 percent from the field. However, they have had some success on defense, keeping teams to just under 70 ppg. There is no scorer like Miller on the roster for SEMO, which is led by Darion Rackley and his 13.1 ppg. Brian Williams (10.5 ppg, 3.9 apg) is the only other player on the team putting in more than eight ppg, but he shoots at just a 34.3 percent rate. Nick Cook (6.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg) and Jamal Hunter (5.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg) don't score very often, but they are the team's best hope on the board.
Regardless of where they have played, the Tigers have struggled this season, and with a record of 0-10 on the road, playing in hostile environments has been especially difficult. The Gamecocks aren't a team with much offensive firepower, but they will have enough to capture a win here.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Jacksonville State 71, Tennessee State 63
01/16 11:18:29 ET