Texas State (4-10) at Denver (5-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 3, 9 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Magness Arena (7,200) -- Denver, Colorado. Television: None. Home Record: Texas State 3-5, Denver 4-2. Away Record: Texas State 0-3, Denver 1-5. Neutral Record: Texas State 1-2, Denver 0-0. Conference Record: Texas State 0-2, Denver 1-1. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Texas State Bobcats pull into Magness Arena for a Western Athletic Conference clash with the Denver Pioneers.
This is the first WAC road game for new league member Texas State, which is coming off an 81-57 setback to Utah State on New Year's Eve. The Bobcats are mired in a five-game losing streak and have not tasted victory since Dec. 8. They have struggled mightily on the road, dropping five of six contests outside of San Marcos.
Meanwhile, Denver is looking to string together back-to-back wins for only the second time this season. The Pioneers went on the road and notched a 50-35 win over Texas-Arlington on Monday. In the Pioneers' five victories this season, they have held their foes to an average of 44 points.
This bout marks the first-ever meeting between these two programs on the hardwood.
Texas State sophomore guard Wesley Davis shot 10-of-12 from the floor in Monday's game and finished with a career-high 22 points, 16 of which came in the second half. Joel Wright chipped in with 11 points and nine rebounds, while Deonte' Jones added 10 points in a losing effort. However, the Bobcats shot just 37.3 percent as a team, including a 22.7 percent effort from beyond the arc. Conversely, Utah State shot 51.7 percent from the floor and knocked down 11 3-pointers (.423). On the season, Wright leads the team with 15.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest, while Matt Staff is averaging 14.2 points and 6.2 boards per outing. Opponents are shooting 45.5 percent from the floor while averaging 75.1 ppg against Texas State.
The Pioneers have held foes to 44 percent shooting, but they prefer to slow the tempo down and are allowing just 57.3 ppg. Rebounding has been a problem for the Pioneers, who own a -6.4 differential on the glass. Royce O'Neale (14.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and Chris Udofia (11.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg) are the team's only players pulling down at least five boards per tilt. Earlier this week, the Pioneers were out-rebounded by UT-Arlington, 38-26, including a 15-6 differential on the offensive glass. However, Denver made up for it by holding the Mavericks to 27.7 percent shooting and forcing 18 turnovers. Conversely, the Pioneers committed only nine turnovers in addition to knocking down 11 threes (.317). Nate Engesser tallied a career-high 14 points off the bench in the victory.
Barring another big performance from Davis, the Bobcats could struggle to score against the Pioneers. That said, give the edge to Denver playing on its home floor.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Denver 62, Texas State 52
01/03 10:43:30 ET