Marist (0-9) at College of Charleston (4-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 15, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: TD Arena (5,000) -- Charleston, South Carolina. Television: MyTV. Home Record: Marist 0-2, Charleston 3-2. Away Record: Marist 0-4, Charleston 0-1. Neutral Record: Marist 0-3, Charleston 1-2. Conference Record: Marist 0-2, Charleston 0-0. Series Record: College of Charleston leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Marist Red Foxes will try for the 10th time to win their first game of the season, as they visit TD Arena on Sunday afternoon for a non- conference clash with the College of Charleston Cougars.
Marist has lost each of its first nine games, which includes an 0-2 start in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The Red Foxes most recently hosted Manhattan on Dec. 6 in a MAAC contest and fell on the wrong end of a 70-59 final.
While Charleston has performed better than Marist in the early going, it has still been inconsistent at just 4-5. The good news for the Cougars is that they have won back-to-back games, beating Cal State Fullerton on the final day of the Wooden Legacy on Dec. 1 (61-48), before downing Coker at home this past Thursday (68-54).
These two programs met for the first time on New Year's Eve last season, with Charleston claiming an 85-75 road win.
The Red Foxes fell behind by as many as 20 points in the second half against Marist and could never recover, as they shot just 36.2 percent from the field (including 2-of-13 from 3-point range) and committed a game-high 17 turnovers. Chavaughn Lewis was able to overcome the struggles of most of his teammates by tallying 23 points, five rebounds and four steals. Khallid Hart scored 11 points but did so on just 4-of-12 from the field. It's no surprise that Marist has yet to record a win this season considering it has the 343rd-ranked offense in the nation (58.4 ppg), and its poor scoring defense (76.8 ppg) certainly doesn't help matters. Lewis (16.7 ppg) is the club's unquestioned go-to scoring option even though he boasts disappointing percentages from the field (.383) and beyond the arc (.273). Jay Bowie and Hart both net 10.1 ppg.
The Cougars did what was expected of them against Division II Coker, as they shot 43.3 percent from the field and dominated the rebounding battle (44-27) on their way to an easy 14-point victory. Adjehi Baru was stellar with 19 points (on 9-of-12 from the field) and 11 rebounds, although he was just 1- of-7 from the free-throw line, dragging the team's overall performance from the stripe way down (11-of-22). Anthony Stitt finished with 13 points, Canyon Barry put up 11 points and Willis Hall grabbed 14 rebounds. Charleston has not experienced much success shooting the ball this season, as it makes less than 42 percent of its field goal tries for 63.4 points per game, but luckily its impressive scoring defense (66.4 ppg) keeps it competitive in most games. Barry scores 12.4 points per game, but has more turnovers (23) than assists (16). Baru has been strong in the paint, shooting 58.5 percent from the floor for 10.8 points per game to go with 8.2 rebounds per contest.
Charleston's struggles pale in comparison to what Marist has endured through the first six weeks of the season. The Cougars should have no problem defending their home floor and winning their third straight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: College of Charleston 68, Marist 57
12/15 10:32:38 ET