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VMI (11-15) at Marist (7-20)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 23, 7 p.m. (et).

FACTS & STATS: Site: McCann Center (3,200) -- Poughkeepsie, New York. Television: None. Home Record: VMI 7-5, Marist 4-7. Away Record: VMI 4-9, Marist 2-11. Neutral Record: VMI 0-1, Marist 1-2. Conference Record: VMI 6-8, Marist 4-12. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: The Marist Red Foxes are set to host the VMI Keydets in a BracketBuster matchup at the McCann Center.

This bout marks the first-ever meeting between these two schools on the hardwood.

Marist will try and avoid a third straight loss. The Red Foxes were on the wrong end of a 57-54 final against Niagara last Friday, and then followed that up with a 67-63 setback at Rider on Sunday. Following this tilt, they'll wrap up the regular season against Siena and Fairfield next week.

Meanwhile, VMI has lost five in a row and eight of its last 10 overall. Most recently, the Keydets were dealt a lopsided 92-69 setback at Charleston Southern on Thursday night. They'll return to their Big South Conference slate next week against Liberty, and then Longwood in the regular-season finale.

Despite their subpar record, the Keydets boast the nation's 13th-ranked scoring offense with an average of 77.6 ppg. Their average of 8.9 3-pointers per contest ranks ninth in the country. However, VMI has been held below 70 points in each of its last two outings. In Thursday's massacre, the Keydets shot just 39.4 percent from the floor, while Charleston Southern shot 59.3 percent, which included 14 3-pointers. D.J. Covington led four VMI players in double figures with 16 points. CSU put the game away with separate runs of 10-0 and 14-0 in the second half. On the positive side for the Keydets, their 11 threes were the most they had made in a game since Feb. 6. Stan Okoye, the nation's 10th-leading scorer (20.9 ppg, 9.0 rpg), went 3-of-9 from beyond the arc and finished with 14 points. Covington complements Okoye in the paint and averages 14.6 ppg and 7.4 rpg while shooting 56 percent from the floor. Rodney Glasgow is also averaging double figures with 10.2 ppg to go along with 4.6 apg.

Chavaughn Lewis headlines the Marist roster with 15.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest. Devin Price is next in line with 14.0 ppg. While that duo has carried the bulk of the scoring load, neither player is shooting better than 40 percent from the floor. The Red Foxes are also -5.3 in the rebounding department this season. In Sunday's loss to Rider, the Broncs put together a 9-1 run and another 7-0 spurt late in the contest to seal the outcome. Lewis led Marist with 18 points, while Adam Kemp recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 boards. Jay Bowie rounded out the team's double-digit scorers with 10 points. The Red Foxes led by as many as 11 points with 17 minutes to play, but they were not able to make that lead stick thanks to those late runs by the Broncs, who shot 55.6 percent from the floor in the second half. Also working against the Red Foxes was a 9-of-18 effort at the foul line.

Both of these teams can score, but both are also flawed at the defensive end. A third straight game with less than 70 points seems unlikely for the Keydets, who have the perimeter shooting to take down Marist on the road.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: VMI 77, Marist 71

02/23 10:40:47 ET