Drake (2-1) vs. Winthrop (0-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 19th, 6:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: UVI Sports and Fitness Center (3,500) -- St. Thomas Virgin Islands. Television: Local. Home Record: Drake 2-0, Winthrop 0-1. Away Record: Drake 0-0, Winthrop 0-1. Neutral Record: Drake 0-1, Winthrop 0-1. Conference Record: Drake 0-0, Winthrop 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Drake Bulldogs meet the Winthrop Eagles in the second round of the Paradise Jam this evening, with both clubs aiming to rebound from losses in the opening round of the tournament Friday.
Drake lost 63-59 to Ole Miss after going cold shooting in the second half. The Bulldogs, who opened the season with wins over Upper Iowa and Iowa State, got 22 points from Ben Simons in the loss.
Winthrop dropped its third consecutive game in its opener at the Paradise Jam, losing 95-73 to No. 19 Marquette. The Eagles, who opened the season with losses to Eastern Kentucky and Virginia this past week, were blitzed by Marquette's backcourt tandem of Vander Blue and Darius Johnson-Odom, who combined for 46 points. Winthrop's Andre Jones scored a career high 29 points in the loss.
This is the first meeting between Drake and Winthrop.
Simons shot 7-of-14 from the field en route to his game-high 22 points for Drake, which included four three-pointers. Rayvonte Rice added 12 points on 4- of-12 shooting, and added seven rebounds. Drake's Jordan Clarke led the team with 11 rebounds, but was quiet offensively, going 0-of-2 from the field in 33 minutes of action. Drake held a slight edge on the boards, 40-38, but was flustered by the Rebels athletic defense, coughing up 23 turnovers. Ole Miss recorded 11 steals and six blocks, and limited Drake to just 8-of-23 shooting in the second half.
Winthrop hung with Marquette in the first half, trailing 45-37 at halftime. However, Marquette's frontcourt was much better at the offensive end, scoring 38 points in the paint compared to Winthrop's 18, and Johnson-Odom and Blue were too much on the perimeter. Jones went 9-of-16 from the field en route to his 29 points for the Eagles, and hit four three-pointers to cap his career day. Winthrop shot 10-of-25 from downtown, and finished the game shooting 42.1 percent from the field. Reggie Middleton added 10 points for Winthrop, but the rest of the starting lineup went 4-of-14 form the field for a combined 11 points.
Drake made a lot of mistakes and didn't shoot very well against Ole Miss, but still presents a major challenge for Winthrop. The Eagles battled Marquette for stretches Friday, but need more offensive production outside of Jones and Middleton. Both of these teams have strong guards, but Drake's frontcourt is deeper and more productive at this stage in the season. Expect the Bulldogs to rebound with a win tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Drake 72, Winthrop 60
11/19 10:36:02 ET