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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 26, 5 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The RAC (8,000) -- Piscataway, New Jersey. Television: None. Home Record: Stillman 0-1, Norfolk State 2-0. Away Record: Stillman 1-1, Norfolk State 0-2. Neutral Record: Stillman 0-1, Norfolk State 2-1. Conference Record: Stillman 0-0, Norfolk State 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAMES NOTES: In each team's final contest in the NIT Season Tip-Off consolation round, the Stillman Tigers will take on the Norfolk State Spartans at the RAC on Tuesday evening.
If the results for the Tigers during their first three outings in the Tip-Off are any indication, Tuesday will not end well. Stillman was routed, 116-89 by host Rutgers on Monday night for its third straight loss in the event. Stillman owns just a 1-3 overall mark as each contest in the Tip-Off has served as an exhibition.
The Spartans have begun to pick up some steam after losing in a tight contest against East Carolina (76-64) to get the event going last week. With a 70-62 triumph over Fairleigh Dickinson last night, Norfolk State has won back-to- back games for the second time this season to move to 4-2 overall on the campaign.
On Tuesday these teams will be meeting for the first time ever.
The Tigers managed 89 points against Rutgers on Monday but there was little congratulations to go around as they also allowed 116 points to their hosts. Stillman just couldn't find a way to stop the Scarlet Knights, who abused the Tigers inside with a 56-22 scoring advantage in the paint.
A positive to be taken out of the loss was how well the Tigers shot from beyond the arc. Since they were trailing by a large margin for most of the game, the Tigers let it fly consistently from beyond the arc and despite hitting less than 30 percent from that distance on the season, they nailed 13 attempts. Markeith Madison (18.5 ppg) is the team's leading scorer and a gunner from 3-point range regardless of the situation. Madison finished with 17 points and hit 3-of-8 attempts from beyond the arc against Rutgers. Stanley Magee (12 ppg), Justin Harris (13.5 ppg), Jeffrey Wherry (10.3) ppg , who had eight triples on Monday, and Daniel Bryant (10 ppg) round out a deep scoring rotation.
Successful shooting in the first half catapulted the Spartans to victory over Fairleigh Dickinson on Monday night. The Spartans hit on 53.7 percent of their shots from the field in the first 20 minutes and then coasted to the finish line with a 13-of-19 effort from the charity stripe during the second stanza.
There has not been a whole lot of let-up for the Spartans on the offensive end of the floor this year. Norfolk State is scoring an impressive 85.7 points per game on 50.8 percent shooting. However, during the first three games of the Tip-Off, the Spartans have only reached the 80-point mark once. Malcolm Hawkins chimed in with a team-high 16 points. Hawkins (19.8 ppg) is the only player on the roster to have scored 100 points on the year. Pendarvis Williams (15.8 ppg) is another double-figure scorer. Brandon Goode (9.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg) nearly had a double-double against Fairleigh Dickinson and will need to continue to play well, as RaShid Gaston (15.0 ppg, 9.3 rpg) is out with a partially torn ACL until at least January.
The Spartans are a team that the Tigers may have a better handle on stopping. However, even if they can keep it close, the Spartans should be able to make enough plays down the stretch to earn the win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Norfolk State 73, Stillman 65
11/26 10:35:11 ET