South Dakota (3-7) at Morehead State (7-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, December 19, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ellis Johnson Arena (6,500) -- Morehead, Kentucky. Television: None. Home Record: USD 2-1, Morehead State 3-1. Away Record: USD 1-5, Morehead State 3-3. Neutral Record: USD 0-1, Morehead State 1-1. Conference Record: USD 0-0, Morehead State 0-0. Series Record: USD leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: A pair of teams trying to stop losing streaks will be matched up on Thursday when the South Dakota Coyotes tangle with the Morehead State Eagles in non-league play at Ellis Johnson Arena.
A return to its home floor didn't help South Dakota against Green Bay on Saturday. The Coyotes fell short in an 89-85 decision for their fourth straight loss. They are now just 3-7 overall and relief is unlikely to come in a road test, where they are just 1-5. South Dakota will also visit Youngstown State before the schedule turns over into the new year.
Morehead State is in the midst of a more modest two-game slide. The Eagles were dispatched, 67-61, by Bowling Green in the front end of this two-game homestand on Sunday. Unlike the Coyotes, the Eagles have had more success at 7-5 overall and 3-1 at home. Up next they will match up with Tennessee.
This is the third straight season, and fourth time overall, these teams have been pitted against each other. South Dakota has won the last two battles after Morehead State won the first-ever back in 2009.
An 8-0 run from Green Bay early in the second half, erased South Dakota's final lead of the game. Although the Coyotes were able to cut their deficit to three points seven times, they could never pull even or ahead. Brandon Bos scored 19 points to lead four players in double figures in the losing effort.
South Dakota is certainly far from an offensive juggernaut. The Coyotes are only scoring a shade more than 70 points per game, while shooting 42.6 percent from the floor. Bos (14.2 ppg) is at the top of the scorer's sheet, as one of only two double-figure scorers on the team. Bos bounced back from a season-low four points in the Coyotes' previous contest with his showing against Green Bay. Trevor Gruis (12.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg) provides the second most consistent threat. He is also the only player on the team collecting more than five rebounds per game and shooting above 50 percent from the floor.
Morehead State led by as many as 10 points in the first half but crumbled in the final 20 minutes against Bowling Green. During the second frame the Eagles connected on just 25.7 percent of their field-goal attempts, while turning the ball over eight times.
Angelo Warner (17.5 ppg, 5 rpg, 3.2 apg) had an off night in the losing effort. The 6-foot-2 guard did finish with 15 points, but he knocked down just 6-of-19 shot attempts, including a 1-of-11 performance from 3-point range. Prior to that showing, Warner had connected on at least 50 percent of his shots in four of five games. Brent Arrington (11.2 ppg) added 16 points on Sunday, while draining four 3-pointers. It was a marked improvement over his last game, when he went scoreless and missed all three of his field goal tries. Chad Posthumus (10.8 ppg, 12.6 rpg) had 11 rebounds but scored just three points on a 1-of-9 shooting performance. It is the fourth time this season he has failed to score more than six points.
Having two of its best players slowed stopped Morehead State from winning last time out. If Warner and Posthumus can rebound from their poor outings, the Eagles will be able to claim a victory in this matchup.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Morehead State 74, South Dakota 68
12/19 11:19:19 ET