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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 21, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bernard Johnson Coliseum (6,110) -- Huntsville, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: UCI 2-0, Sam Houston State 2-1. Away Record: UCI 0-1, Sam Houston State 0-2. Neutral Record: UCI 1-1, Sam Houston State 0-0. Conference Record: UCI 0-0, Sam Houston State 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.
GAME NOTES: Sam Houston State tries to follow up its first win of the season over another Division I program as it entertains the UC Irvine Anteaters as part of subregional action in the Legends Classic at Bernard Johnson Coliseum in Huntsville, Texas.
Prior to Tuesday, the Bearkats had just one win to their credit, an 82-31 thrashing of Hardin-Simmons, so it was important for the squad to finally break through against another program from the same level. That opponent was Liberty, as Sam Houston State snapped a two-game slide with a 64-50 triumph on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Anteaters had won three of their first four games of 2012-13, but against Southern Miss on Tuesday the team was taken down in a 69-65 final, snapping a two-game win streak in the process.
UCI won the first meeting between these two teams, 70-62, in overtime during the 2006-07 campaign. A year later it was the Bearkats who posted a 61-54 victory at home to even the series at 1-1.
The Anteaters made good on an even 50.0 percent from the field and turned the ball over just 10 times, but even that wasn't enough as the team suffered the narrow loss to Southern Miss. The most glaring issue for UCI was the fact that it was overwhelmed on the glass as USM posted a 35-20 rebounding advantage and while the Anteaters had but six offensive boards, the Golden Eagles cleared 17 at that end of the floor. Michael Wilder led the team in scoring with 16 points, hitting 4-of-7 shots beyond the arc, followed by Alex Young who not only tallied 11 points, he also issued eight assists as well. Daman Starring, responsible for just eight points versus USM, currently leads the team in scoring overall with his 13.5 ppg, although he has missed a game and is shooting a mere 4-of-15 on the perimeter. The more reliable sharpshooter is Wilder (13.2 ppg) who has converted half of his 32 three-point tries.
Terrance Motley came off the bench to tally 14 points and pull down eight rebounds to help lead the Sam Houston State Bearkats to the double-digit win over the Liberty Flames in this building last night. Also scoring in double figures for the Bearkats was James Thomas who dropped in 13 points and also cleared eight boards in the victory. Defensively, the Bearkats held Liberty to just 33.3 percent shooting from the floor and forced the Flames into 15 turnovers, which the hosts converted into 17 points. The team has had a different leading scorer in every game so far this season, not an easy trick if you're trying to establish some consistency on offense. Darius Gatson leads the way with his 8.8 ppg and is also first with 3.6 apg for a squad that is hitting field goals with just 38.4 percent success.
The Anteaters have displayed quite a bit of spunk so far from home and it would be a shame for them to have to head back to California without another win under their belt.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UC Irvine 66, Sam Houston State 60
11/21 10:32:52 ET