Southern Illinois (2-4) vs. San Diego (6-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 27, 2:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Germain Arena (6,000) -- Estero, Florida. Television: None. Home Record: SIU 1-1, USD 3-0. Away Record: SIU 0-2, USD 2-0. Neutral Record: SIU 1-1, USD 1-1. Conference Record: SIU 0-0, USD 0-0. Series Record: Southern Illinois leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: A couple of teams trying to close out the first-ever Gulf Coast Showcase on a positive note get together at Germain Arena this afternoon, as the Southern Illinois Salukis clash with the San Diego Toreros for fifth-place bragging rights.
San Diego landed in the Sunshine State having won five straight games out of the gate, but immediately the team was brought back to reality when it lost to Illinois-Chicago in the first round, 74-70, On the losers side of the bracket, the Toreros then faced off against UNC Greensboro on Tuesday and managed to pull out an 83-71 win.
Like USD, the Salukis have also earned a split in their two games in this tournament. They too lost in the opening round of the event two days ago, their setback coming against St. Bonaventure in an 83-71 final, but on Tuesday SIU turned the tables on the Stetson Hatters in a 67-48 final.
The only previous meeting between the teams took place in 2009 during the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic, with the Salukis capturing a narrow 70-68 win.
Anthony Beane made good on 7-of-11 shots from the floor yesterday, including 4-of-7 behind the 3-point line, as the Salukis dominated Stetson in second- round action. Also scoring in double figures were Jalen Pendleton and Desmar Jackson with 12 and 10 points, respectively, while Bola Olaniyan's contribution off the bench was his game-high 11 rebounds, helping to give SIU a rebounding advantage of 41-32.
While he may be shooting just 27.8 percent from beyond the arc, Jackson is the leading scorer for the Salukis with his 20.5 ppg, thanks in large part to his 36-of-49 effort at the free-throw line. Unfortunately, the team as a whole is shooting just 64.3 percent at the charity stripe, leaving plenty of scoring opportunities unrealized.
All five San Diego starters scored in double figures against the Spartans yesterday, led by Duda Sanadze who tallied 20 points and also pulled down six rebounds. Christopher Anderson checked in with 16 points and five assists, followed by Johnny Dee with 15 points and three dishes. Jito Kok and Dennis Kramer pitched in with 12 and 10 points, respectively, as they combined to shoot 11-of-16 from the field for a team that knocked down 53.8 percent in the meeting.
A stout defense has carried the Toreros out to six wins in seven games, limiting the competition to only 60.7 ppg on not just 36.1 percent shooting from the field but also a mere 24.2 percent behind the 3-point line. It has also worked in USD's favor that those foes have converted only 62.3 percent at the free-throw line as well. Dee (16.7 ppg) and Anderson (11.7 ppg) spearhead the Toreros offense, with the latter having handed out 42 of their 75 assists.
San Diego's earlier opponents were not exactly the cream of the crop, but still the team has shown solid offensive balance and a willingness to work hard at the defensive end of the floor, giving the Toreros an edge in this meeting.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Diego 71, Southern Illinois 63
11/27 10:39:53 ET