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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, November 11, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) -- Honolulu, Hawaii. Television: None. Home Record: TSU 0-0, WMU 0-0. Away Record: TSU 0-1, WMU 0-1. Neutral Record: TSU 0-1, WMU 1-0. Conference Record: TSU 0-0, WMU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The first-ever meeting between a couple of teams from the mainland actually takes place in Hawaii tonight, as the Western Michigan Broncos collide with the Tennessee State Tigers at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu as part of the annual Rainbow Classic.
The Tigers are still searching for their first win of the 2013-14 campaign after dropping the opener to host Hawaii on Friday, 85-55, and then playing only slightly better in a 70-55 setback versus New Mexico State a day later.
As for the Broncos, they've got their first win under their belts, thanks to a 70-64 triumph over the Aggies of NMSU in the opener. Unfortunately, WMU could not avoid taking a step back the next day when it suffered a 78-68 loss versus the Rainbow Warriors.
Patrick Miller erupted for a game-high 30 points on Saturday, shooting an impressive 12-of-22 from the floor, but still he and the rest of the Tigers could not find their way into the win column. The problem for his teammates was that not one of them was able to hit more than just a pair of field goals and only M.J. Rhett was able to score more than five points, although his six came by shooting just 2-of-9 from the floor. As a group, TSU converted only 38.2 percent from the field and 10-of-19 at the free-throw line, compared to 22-of-28 at the charity stripe for NMSU.
While it has been only two games for the Tigers, one thing is clear in that Miller is the go-to guy on offense and after him the squad doesn't have much else right now. Miller has made good on half of his 36 field goal attempts, the rest of the unit combining for just 24 made field goals, which is why the unit is shooting only 37.5 percent from the floor. Even more disappointing is the team's 18.2 percent accuracy behind the 3-point line.
WMU led by as many as six points in the first half against the Rainbow Warriors, shooting better than 54 percent from the floor in the period, but the visitors trailed by three at the break and then made a total of just seven field goals after intermission. The Broncos managed to spread the wealth as Kellen McCormick and David Brown both tallied 14 points, followed by Jared Klein with 13 off the bench. Connar Tava tacked on 10 points, but his seven turnovers against just a single assist, did not help WMU's cause.
Although he is shooting just 39.3 percent from the floor and 4-of-15 (.267) behind the 3-point line through two games, Brown is still the leading scorer for the Broncos with his 19.5 ppg. McCormick, who is one of four players averaging 3.5 rpg, checks in with 14.0 ppg and Klein another 11.0 ppg for a group that has held the competition to just 25.0 percent accuracy out on the perimeter.
Clearly, if the Broncos can keep Miller from getting off to a strong start and the rest of the TSU lineup doesn't pick up the slack, the win should be waiting for WMU.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Western Michigan 72, Tennessee State 60
11/11 10:36:57 ET