East Tennessee State (4-7) vs. Appalachian State (4-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, December 24th, 1:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Poliforum Benito Juarez (5,800) -- Cancun, Mexico. Television: None. Home Record: ETSU 2-0, ASU 2-0. Away Record: ETSU 2-5, ASU 2-4. Neutral Record: ETSU 0-2, ASU 0-2. Conference Record: ETSU 0-1, ASU 1-1. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The East Tennessee State Buccaneers and the Appalachian State Mountaineers square off in a consolation game in the finale of the 2010 Cancun Governor's Cup.
The Buccaneers have gone 0-2 in the tournament to this point. They lost, 64-60, to Southern Miss in the opener, before falling to Northeastern, 77-67, on Thursday. With a loss to Ole Miss prior to the tournament, ETSU has now dropped three consecutive games and is just 2-7 away from home this season.
Like ETSU, the Mountaineers are winless in this tournament thus far, losing back-to-back games to Colorado State and Texas State. They entered the Governor's Cup having won two of three, after splitting conference matchups with Chattanooga and Samford and then defeating Robert Morris, 71-66, on December 18th.
This game marks the first-ever meeting between ETSU and ASU on the hardwood.
Given the ability of their opponent, the Buccaneers' loss to Northeastern proved to be particularly disappointing. Northeastern had earned just two wins entering the contest, had struggled to score all season and had managed just 46 points in the tournament opener. Despite all that, NU torched the Bucs' for 77 points, which was by far its most productive offensive output thus far. NU shot 48.1 percent from the field, including 61.1 percent from three-point range, dished out 19 assists against just nine turnovers. The Bucs managed 67 points on 44 percent shooting. Micah Williams paced the squad with 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting, while Adam Sollazzo finished with 15 points and seven rebounds and Mike Smith chipped in 10 points. Smith had a below-average night, as he currently leads the team with 15.1 ppg and 6.7 rpg. Williams scores 13 ppg in support and Isiah Brown averages 10.3 ppg. ETSU only manages 64.6 ppg on 41.5 percent shooting. When the team wins it is due to the defense, which typically holds opponents to 66.7 ppg. It is nearly impossible for the Bucs to win if they allow teams to explode offensively, especially lackluster offensive teams like Northeastern.
Nothing seemed to go right for Appalachian State in its 79-68 loss to Texas State. The Mountaineers built an early seven point advantage, but were felled by sloppy play, as they committed a season-high 21 turnovers, made just 10- of-22 free throws and shot a measly 36.1 percent from the floor in the decisive second half. Perhaps more importantly, the Mountaineers lost their second point guard in as many days, as Mitch Woods, playing for the injured Marcus Wright, injured his hip after playing just nine minutes. On a positive note, ASU did receive significant contributions from Omar Carter, Donald Sims and Petey Hausley, who scored 17, 15 and 13 points, respectively. All three players pulled down six rebounds as well. The loss of Wright and Woods should be manageable, as the two have combined for just 7.4 ppg on the season. Wright has dished out just 7 assists against 16 turnovers, while Woods, admittedly, has been a reliable set-up man, handing out 26 assists against 21 turnovers. Still, it is not offensive production, but defensive execution that most concerns the Mountaineers. They allow 78.5 ppg on 16.7 apg.
The Governor's Cup has been disappointing for both teams thus far. ASU has suffered some casualties and has been plagued by sloppy play, but it doesn't appear that ETSU, with its struggling offense, will be capable of taking advantage of the Mountaineers' weaknesses.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Appalachian St. 72, E. Tennessee St. 65
12/24 10:31:36 ET