Indiana State (3-2) at Alaska Anchorage (5-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 29, 4 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Sullivan Arena (8,700) -- Anchorage, Alaska. Television: None. Home Record: ISU 2-0, UAA 3-1. Away Record: ISU 1-1, UAA 2-1. Neutral Record: ISU 0-1, UAA 0-0. Conference Record: ISU 0-0, UAA 0-0. Series Record: Indiana State leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: After each team lost their opening-round bouts in last-second fashion, the Indiana State Sycamores and the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves will try to lick their wounds in the consolation round of the Great Alaska Shootout on Friday afternoon as Sullivan Arena.
Indiana State's season got off to a strong start with wins in three of its first four games, including a signature victory on the road at then- nationally-ranked Notre Dame on Nov. 17, 83-70. The Sycamore's trip north did not start the way they envisioned however, as they fell victim to a last- second, game-winning 3-pointer to lose to Tulsa in heartbreaking fashion on Wednesday, 63-62.
UAA, which plays its basketball out of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in Division II, acts as the tournament hosts, and after battling back-and- forth with TCU in the opening round on Wednesday, it lost a late lead following an Amric Fields' layup with under 10 seconds to play as it fell, 73-70. The Seawolves are now 5-2 on the season.
The Sycamores have won the only previous meeting in the all-time series.
Devonte Brown had a chance to extend the Sycamores' advantage to three at the foul line with under 22 seconds to play, but his 1-of-2 trip gave them a two- point advantage, which allowed them to fall victim to Tulsa's last-second heroics. Brown had a strong game regardless, finishing with 18 points on 4- of-5 from the field and 8-of-11 from the foul line. No one else netted in double figures however, as the team made less than 42 percent of its field goal tries and was outrebounded by a 38-27 margin.
The poor shooting performance was a rare occurrence for Indiana State, which shoots a lofty 50 percent from the field on the season for 80.4 points per game. The team has six players netting in double figures, with Jake Odum (13.2 ppg) leading the way, while adding 4.6 rebounds and 5.0 assists per tilt as well. Justin Gant (12.0 ppg), Dawon Cummings (11.2 ppg), Manny Arop (11.0 ppg), Khristian Smith (10.8 ppg) and Brown (10.4 ppg) round out the balanced attack.
Although the Seawolves were a factor against TCU wire-to-wire, they can ultimately point to their lackluster .387 field goal percentage as the reason they couldn't pull off the triumph. Travis Thompson struggled from the field at just 4-of-12, but he made all eight of his free throws en route to a game- high 19 points. Brian McGill stuffed the stat sheet with 16 points, six assists and five rebounds, Brad Mears tallied 11 points and seven boards off the bench, and Teancum Stafford added 10 points and three blocks.
UAA has made a strong impression in the season's first month in boasting a +11.7 scoring and +5.7 turnover margin. Thompson is an elite scoring option with 22.7 points per game, and he's been active and effective from 3-point range (26-of-62) and the foul line (43-of-47). McGill (16.6 ppg) gets teammates involved with 5.9 assists per tilt, Stafford (15.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg) is a force in the paint, and Kyle Fossman (15.3 ppg) has also been solid.
Both teams are reeling after tough losses and will look to rebound in short order. UAA defended its home floor well against TCU, but expect Indiana State's superior talent to come through in the end.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Indiana State 73, Alaska Anchorage 68
11/29 10:49:56 ET