Appalachian State (9-14) at Furman (12-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 9th, 7:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Timmons Arena (5,000) -- Greenville, South Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: ASU 7-4, Furman 7-4. Away Record: ASU 2-9, Furman 5-8. Neutral Record: ASU 0-1, Furman 0-0. Conference Record: ASU 5-8, Furman 6-7. Series Record: Furman leads, 44-36.
GAME NOTES: The Appalachian State Mountaineers will try to put an end to their recent skid tonight when they visit Timmons Arena in Greenville, South Carolina to take on the Furman Paladins in a Southern Conference matchup.
Appalachian State was a 56-50 winner when these teams met on the Mountaineers' home floor on January 12. Still, Furman leads the all-time series, 44-36.
Since that first meeting, Appalachian State has dropped six of its last eight outings, including three in a row. Most recently, the Mountaineers were dealt an 82-59 loss at Elon on Monday night. They have won only twice in 12 games played outside of Boone, North Carolina this season, a trend the Mountaineers hope to put an end to tonight.
Meanwhile, Furman has split its last four contests and stands at 12-12 on the year, 6-7 in league play. After scoring a season-high 93 points in last Saturday's win over UNC Greensboro, the Paladins suffered a 64-57 setback at Georgia Southern two days later. Beginning tonight, they'll play three of their next four at Timmons Arena.
The Mountaineers are averaging a little under 58 points over their last three contests. They were held below 40 percent shooting in each of their two previous games entering Monday's contest at Elon, and opened that game by shooting 35.7 percent in the first half. While the Mountaineers finally got going -- shooting 66.7 percent from the floor and sinking 4-of-6 three- pointers in the second stanza -- the damage had already been done as Elon led by as many as 28 with nine minutes to play. In addition, ASU committed 17 turnovers with only nine assists, while the Phoenix had 21 assists on 28 buckets and only eight turnovers for the game. Elon finished with a 26-8 advantage in points off turnovers, in addition to a 38-28 rebounding edge. Nathan Healy was the only ASU player in double figures, tallying 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Leading scorer Omar Carter (12.7 ppg) was held to just three points on 1-of-5 shooting, also committing a pair of turnovers. Carter has been relegated to a bench role over the last six games, and the Mountaineers have seen their scoring dip. Against Charleston last weekend, Carter managed just seven points on 3-of-11 shooting. Jamaal Trice (10.7 ppg) is the team's only other player averaging double figures, but his production hinges largely on knocking down threes (40-of-105).
Like tonight's opponent, Furman also has just two players scoring in double figures: Brandon Sebirumbi (11.0 ppg) and Charlie Reddick (10.3 ppg). Sebirumbi is a 52.2 percent shooter from the floor and he also leads the team with 5.5 rebounds per tilt. Reddick has knocked down a team-high 47 threes (.382) and is second with 4.9 rpg. As a team, the Paladins are shooting just 41.3 percent and have also been out-rebounded in each of the last three games. Given their lack of scoring depth, they can ill-afford to be out-worked on the boards and still expect to win most nights. That was once again the case on Monday, as Georgia Southern claimed a 36-30 rebounding advantage and also shot 50 percent from the field, while Furman shot 36.4 percent. Nearly half of the Paladins' field-goal attempts came from beyond the arc, while GSU held a key 28-10 scoring advantage inside the paint. GSU's Eric Ferguson grabbed seven offensive rebounds for the game, nearly matching Furman's team total of 10 by himself. Bobby Austin hit 3-of-5 threes and scored a team-high 13 points in the loss, while Sebirumbi scored 10 and grabbed eight boards.
In his first three games after being benched, Carter was averaging 19.7 points. But in the three games since, he has totaled a mere 16 points. Whether or not he is still in coach Jason Capel's doghouse, the Mountaineers are clearly not the same team with their best scoring option riding the pine.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Furman 67, Appalachian State 66
02/09 10:38:15 ET