ULM (3-11) at Arkansas State (10-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 19, 8:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (10,563) -- Jonesboro, Arkansas. Television: None. Home Record: ULM 2-4, ASU 7-2. Away Record: ULM 1-7, ASU 3-5. Neutral Record: ULM 0-0, ASU 0-0. Conference Record: ULM 2-6, ASU 4-4. Series Record: Arkansas State leads, 30-21.
GAME NOTES: The ULM Warhawks and the Arkansas State Red Wolves will hit the hardwood on Saturday night in a Sun Belt Conference showdown at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro.
ULM has already amassed three losing streaks of three games or more this season on its way to a 3-11 record (2-6 in the Sun Belt). The Warhawks' most recent skid featured setbacks against Troy (64-55), Middle Tennessee (66-57), and most recently at South Alabama on Thursday night (71-56).
Arkansas State is coming off a pair of losses at home to FIU (66-64) and at Louisiana (61-56) to fall to 10-7 overall and an even 4-4 in conference play. The Red Wolves had been winners of their previous four games, and they have generally found success at the Convocation Center with wins in seven of nine matchups.
Arkansas State leads the all-time series with ULM, 30-21, which includes five straight triumphs, and a 22-5 mark in Jonesboro.
The Warhawks fought hard for the first 20 minutes in their latest game, and they headed into halftime tied up with South Alabama 27-27, but they lost control of the contest after intermission as they were eventually saddled with a 15-point defeat. ULM actually had one of its more impressive shooting nights of the season (.477), but it lost possessions due to 21 turnovers and only four offensive rebounds. Marcelis Hansberry was the lone player to score in double figures on the night, netting 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field. On the season, ULM has played poorly both at the offensive (58.9 ppg) and defensive (69.9 ppg) ends, leaving it with a league-worst minus-11.0 scoring margin. Amos Olatayo boasts a team-best 14.0 ppg on 49.5 percent from the field. Trent Mackey (10.5 ppg) makes greater than 40 percent of his 3- point attempts, but amazingly enough he has drained just 31.8 percent of his shots inside the arc. Jayon James stuffs the stat sheet with 9.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg and 4.4 apg, but he has also been plagued by five turnovers per outing.
The Red Wolves trailed by double-digits for most of the second half during last Saturday's showdown at Louisiana, and although they were able to battle back to make it just a four-point game in the final minute, they could not complete the comeback. Trey Finn was just 3-of-9 from the field, but he made 8-of-10 from the free-throw line and finished with 15 points, six rebounds and three steals. Cameron Golden (13 points) and Raeford Worsham (12 points) put together strong performances off the bench. Arkansas State shot less than 35 percent from the field in the loss, and while it ranks fourth in the league this season in scoring (69.5 ppg), its field goal efficiency has been worrisome (.411). Ed Townsel is a big reason for the shooting woes, as he makes only 39.7 percent of his attempts from the field, but he generates enough volume to rank third in the Sun Belt in scoring (15.6 ppg). Brandon Peterson has been much more efficient with his shots (.530), and he is a rock- solid presence in the low post with 11.0 ppg, 9.3 rpg, and more than a block and a steal per contest.
Arkansas State has slipped of late, but a home matchup with one of the league's least impressive teams is sure to get it back on track.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arkansas State 74, ULM 60
01/19 10:34:47 ET