Furman (3-9) at College of Charleston (9-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 5, 5 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: TD Arena (5,000) -- Charleston, South Carolina. Television: MyTV, ESPN3.com. Home Record: Furman 3-3, Charleston 4-4. Away Record: Furman 0-6, Charleston 5-0. Neutral Record: Furman 0-0, Charleston 0-0. Conference Record: Furman 0-1, Charleston 1-0. Series Record: Furman leads, 41-38.
GAME NOTES: The College of Charleston Cougars begin a three-game homestand on Saturday afternoon, as they entertain the Furman Paladins in a Southern Conference showdown at TD Arena.
The 2012-13 campaign has been a struggle for Furman through the first two months, especially on the road where it has gone winless in six opportunities. The Paladins played their fourth of a five-game road swing last Sunday when they traveled to Dallas to take on SMU, falling in a 72-53 final for their seventh loss in their last eight contests.
The College of Charleston's season has been nearly the mirror image of Furman's. After a modest 5-4 start, the Cougars have ripped off four straight wins, most recently hitting the road and defeating Vermont on Dec. 29 (62-50), which was followed by an 85-75 verdict against Marist on Monday.
After 79 meetings, the series between these two teams remains close with Furman clinging to a 41-38 advantage. Charleston had won nine straight matchups before the Paladins snapped that streak with a 69-63 win on Jan. 26, 2012.
Nothing went right for Furman in its 19-point loss to SMU, as it shot a dismal 28.1 percent from the floor in a game it never led. The only saving grace for the Paladins was the fact that they knocked down 10 3-pointers, but it took them an astounding 35 attempts to do so (.286). Rising above the lackluster play of his teammates was Bryant Irwin, who made 5-of-11 shots from beyond the arc on his way to 15 points. Colin Reddick was also solid in the setback, tallying 12 points and seven rebounds. The Paladins have been a poor shooting squad all season long, connecting on just 39 percent of their field goal attempts (11th in the SoCon) for an average of 60.1 ppg (10th). Colin Reddick is a steady presence in the paint, making 51.6 percent of his total shots in netting 10.7 ppg, and he also grabs a team-high 6.2 rpg. Stephen Croone, Charlie Reddick and Irwin all score between 8.3 and 8.4 ppg. In addition to boasting a minus-9.1 scoring margin, the Paladins regularly get beat on the glass (minus-1.8 rebounding margin), and they commit more than 15 turnovers per contest.
Although the team shoots a respectable 44.8 percent from the floor, the College of Charleston too has had difficultly putting points on the scoreboard, averaging just 62.4 ppg, but it put forth its best performance of the season in the 10-point win over Marist last time out, draining nearly 52 percent of its field goal attempts. Leading the way was Andrew Lawrence, who tied a season-high with 22 points, although Anthony Stitt (19 points), Adjehi Baru (12 points) and Willis Hall (14 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks) were also productive. The scoring outburst may have been a rarity for the Cougars, but they have achieved their solid overall record by holding foes to 62.3 ppg on 40.8 percent field goal efficiency. Lawrence boasts solid percentages from the field (.489), 3-point range (.415), and the foul line (.792) en route to a team-high 14.0 ppg. Stitt (11.5 ppg) is also a sharp-shooter from long range (.468), and Baru (9.4 ppg) is the conference's leading rebounder with 9.0 per tilt.
Considering Charleston's recent hot streak, and Furman's futility on the road, the Cougars appear to be in line for an easy victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: College of Charleston 74, Furman 59
01/05 10:32:43 ET