Texas State (1-5) vs. Northern Kentucky (1-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 30, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Puerto Vallarta International Convention Center -- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Television: None. Home Record: Texas State 0-2, NKU 0-2. Away Record: Texas State 0-3, NKU 1-2. Neutral Record: Texas State 1-0, NKU 0-1. Conference Record: Texas State 0-0, NKU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: In the second day of the Cure UCD Classic at the Puerto Vallarta International Convention Center, the Texas State Bobcats take on the Northern Kentucky Norse.
Texas State finally picked itself off the mat on Friday, earning its first win with a 70-52 triumph over Tulane. The Bobcats had been struggling through the first few weeks of the season, with losses in their first five contests. Texas State faces Southeast Missouri State to finish off the three-day event on Sunday.
Northern Kentucky fell back into the loss column on Friday after having taken out Tulane in overtime (91-86) a week ago for its first win of the year. The Norse were felled by Southeast Missouri State (79-65) to drop to 1-5 on the season.
Saturday's contest marks the first-ever meeting between these two squads.
In its first win of the season, Texas State forced 19 turnovers to give itself a comfortable cushion throughout. The Bobcats hit 53.8 percent of their shots from the floor and outscored the Green Wave, 15-6, from 3-point range.
Scoring 70 points isn't normally seen as an offensive eruption, but in the Bobcats' case it was. Texas State is only averaging 58.2 points per game this season while connecting on 41.4 percent of its attempts from the field. That has been matched with some sorry defensive efforts, as the Bobcats allow nearly 70 points per game on 49.4 percent shooting. Joel Wright (16.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg) is the only player in a Texas State uniform to be averaging double figures on a consistent basis. Wright lines up in the frontcourt, but can step out and hit a 3-pointer with some success as well. Emani Gant (9.2 ppg) amounts to the next best option.
Despite getting a game-high 22 points from Tyler White, the Norse were unable to get past Southeast Missouri State. The difference came on the interior as the team was outscored in the paint (30-18), while also allowing the Redhawks to score 20 points off turnovers.
Northern Kentucky has not put forth enough defensive pressure this season and has paid the price as a result. The Norse are being lit up for 80.7 points per game on slightly better than 50 percent shooting by their opponents. Northern Kentucky's own offensive showings have not been so bombastic, as the Norse are putting up only 66.7 points per game on a paltry 38.7 percent effort from the floor overall. Jordan Jackson (13.5 ppg) and Tyler White (12.0 ppg) are the only consistent double-digit scorers for the Norse. White finished with 22 points on Friday, while Jackson tacked on 16 coming off the bench.
Both of these teams struggle at the offensive end. Texas State has the best individual scorer in Wright, and that might be enough to lead the Bobcats to victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas State 67, Northern Kentucky 59
11/30 10:36:36 ET