Evansville (4-2) at Colorado State (5-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 1, 4:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Moby Arena (8,745) -- Fort Collins, Colorado. Television: None. Home Record: Evansville 3-1, CSU 3-0. Away Record: Evansville 1-1, CSU 2-0. Neutral Record: Evansville 0-0, CSU 0-0. Conference Record: Evansville 0-0, CSU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: Winners of 16 straight at home, the Colorado State Rams are set to entertain the Evansville Purple Aces on Saturday afternoon as part of the Mountain West-MVC Challenge.
The latest home win for Colorado State came on Monday when the team upended in-state rival Northern Colorado in an 85-69 final. The 5-0 start for the Rams is their best since kicking off the 2005-06 campaign with six consecutive victories.
As for the Purple Aces, they began the 2012-13 campaign with consecutive losses to Notre Dame and Buffalo but have since gotten on track with four straight victories. The latest win for the program also came on Monday when it trounced Alabama A&M in a 72-46 decision at home at the Ford Center.
Even though this is the fourth year of the series between the Mountain West and the Missouri Valley Conferences, this is still the first-ever meeting between these two schools on the hardwood.
The Evansville defense was all over Alabama A&M, limiting the visitors to just 2-of-14 shooting behind the three-point line and 30.6 percent accuracy from the floor overall, not to mention forcing 19 turnovers in the affair. Colt Ryan saw extensive minutes off the bench as he tallied 13 points and seven assists, although he did shoot only 1-of-7 from inside the three-point line. Also scoring in double figures were Ned Cox and Jaylon Moore with 11 and 10 points, respectively, for a group that knocked down 44.4 percent from the field in the outing. A low-scoring team this season, Evansville is producing just 58.0 ppg, instead choosing to slow the pace of games and make every possession count. The team has just a single double-digit scorer at the moment in Cox who accounts for a mere 10.2 ppg. Defensively the unit has managed to limit foes to only 51.7 ppg, stemming from 25.4 percent accuracy from three- point range.
Colorado State trailed by as many as seven points less than five minutes into the meeting with the Bears earlier this week, but the Rams responded by hitting on 53.6 percent from the floor in the period and 53.7 percent for the entire game, cruising to the double-digit victory. Colton Iverson registered a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds, while Dorian Green came close to a double-double of his own with 19 points and seven assists. Wes Eikmeier checked in with 17 points, shooting a perfect 3-of-3 out on the perimeter, followed by Greg Smith and Jon Octeus with 14 and 10 points, respectively. Focused on holding down opponents in the early going this season, the Rams have limited the opposition to just 58.4 ppg as those teams shoot 37.5 percent from the floor and 26.6 percent behind the three-point line. Iverson paces the offense with his 16.6 ppg and 11.0 rpg, his efforts on the glass second only to Pierce Hornung who missed the game with UNC. Green checks in with 12.0 ppg and 19 assists.
Both of these teams are willing to play low-scoring games if it works to their benefit. As long as Colorado State can hold an edge in the paint and on the glass, expect the team's success at home to continue.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Colorado State 59, Evansville 53
12/01 10:42:18 ET