Florida A&M (0-4) vs. Morehead State (0-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 23rd, 1:30 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Freedom Hall (18,865) -- Louisville, Kentucky. Television: None. Home Record: Florida A&M 0-0, Morehead State 0-0. Away Record: Florida A&M 0-3, Morehead State 0-4. Neutral Record: Florida A&M 0-1, Morehead State 0-0. Conference Record: Florida A&M 0-0, Morehead State 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: A couple of winless teams try to make their way into the win column this afternoon, as the Florida A&M Rattlers and the Morehead State Eagles collide at Freedom Hall in Louisville as part of the Billy Minardi Classic. The Eagles have stumbled out of the gate in 2008-09 with four consecutive setbacks, the most recent of which came on Saturday against third- ranked Louisville by a score of 79-41. The team has had a mix of close games and blowout affairs, having lost to UL-Monroe in the opener by just a single basket, but then bowing to both Vanderbilt and Drake by double digits. As for the Rattlers, they too have strung together four straight losses to begin the new season, the most recent of which came on Saturday versus South Alabama by a score of 93-64. Prior to that, there were setbacks to Kansas State, Wichita State and Alabama, all by at least 24 points. In terms of a series record between these two programs, this is the first-ever meeting.
The defense for the Rattlers couldn't get a grip on USA, allowing the Jaguars to shoot 61.3 percent from the field in the first half and 5-of-8 beyond the arc in the frame. For the most part, the starting five for the Rattlers did very little damage as, aside from Brandon Bryant who dropped in 18 points on 7-of-14 from the floor, four starters combined to shoot a meager 2-of-19 from the field and generate 10 total points. Dale Hughes came off the bench for only 20 minutes and did far more damage with his team-high 19 points. But before the team puts its trust in Hughes they need to have a short memory because in the game previous versus Alabama, Hughes shot a mere 2-of-9 from the floor and missed all five of his three-point tries. It was the same story for Bryant as he missed on all but one of his eight field goal attempts to finish up with two points versus 'Bama.
The Eagles may only have been trailing by nine points at the half, but failing to make a single trip to the free-throw line or convert any of seven tries beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes is not a good omen. When it was all said and done Morehead State finished up a mere 29 percent from the field, 3- of-19 out on the perimeter and a big fat 2-of-2 at the charity stripe versus the third-ranked team in the nation. Leon Buchanan was credited with 10 points, Kenneth Faried 11 rebounds in the outing. After four games Maze Stallworth is the leading scorer at 12.3 ppg, having accounted for 14 of the team's 21 three-point baskets. Buchanan checks in with 11.3 ppg, thanks in large part to his 11-of-12 accuracy at the free-throw line. However, as a team the Eagles are being outscored by the opposition by just about 20 ppg.
Even though the Eagles are being outscored by about 20 points per game, they tend to be easier to read and at least they are a bit more consistent. As for the Rattlers, consistency is already an issue, which should allow a team like Morehead State to slip in for the win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Morehead State 67, Florida A&M 63
11/23 10:27:16 ET