Alabama State (4-4) vs. Milwaukee (9-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 22, 4 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Devlin Fieldhouse (3,600) -- New Orleans, Louisiana. Television: None. Home Record: ASU 3-0, Milwaukee 3-1. Away Record: ASU 1-4, Milwaukee 4-2. Neutral Record: ASU 0-0, Milwaukee 2-1. Conference Record: ASU 0-0, Milwaukee 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: In the second and final day of the Tulane Classic, the Alabama State Hornets will go up against the Milwaukee Panthers at Devlin Fieldhouse.
Alabama State contended with event host Tulane on Saturday. Playing on the road proved to be too much for the Hornets, who were run over, 84-66, by the Green Wave. The loss was the second in the last three games for coach Lewis Jackson's squad, which, after this contest, will be off until Dec. 28 when it takes on Auburn.
The Panthers had a 20-point lead in the second half against Northeastern on Saturday. However the advantage quickly disappeared and eventually evaporated completely as they were handed a 62-59 loss. It was the second straight setback for Milwaukee, which will have back-to-back home games against Youngstown State and Cleveland State next.
Sunday's meeting between the Hornets and Panthers is the first-ever between the two squads.
In its loss to Tulane, Alabama State was clearly the inferior team on the inside. The Hornets were abused in the paint, being outscored by a massive 42-16 margin. Jamel Waters scored 17 points and handed out eight assists in the losing effort.
On the season, the Hornets are averaging 71 points per game. However during the recent rough patch they have been held to less than 70 points in three straight tilts. Waters (16 ppg, 6.1 apg) has not really been affected by the team's struggles, as he has averaged 15.3 points and 6.3 assists per game in that time. He has not received enough help from his teammates though, especially DeMarcus Robinson (13.2 ppg), who is the only other player averaging in double figures. Robinson may have scored in double figures in each of the last three games, but he has been held to less than 40 percent shooting in each bout.
After pulling ahead 46-26 with 13:34 to go, it looked as if Milwaukee had the contest all sewn up on Saturday. However, that was not the case, as the Panthers watched almost helplessly as the Huskies went on a 27-6 run to take a 53-52 lead with 2:58 remaining. The teams traded the lead four times down the stretch, but the Panthers missed their last two field goal attempts to suffer the defeat.
Four players scored in double figures, which has been par for the course this season for Milwaukee. The Panthers' best scoring threat is Matt Tiby (14.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg), who also tops the stat sheet in rebounds. Tiby had a rather subdued effort against Northeastern, netting only 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Kyle Kelm (13 ppg), Jordan Aaron (12.5 ppg) and Austin Arians (12.2 ppg) provide additional scoring options for the Panther attack. In all, Milwaukee is scoring 73.7 points per game while shooting over 45 percent from the floor.
Expect the Panthers to once again put forth a balanced effort and get out to an early lead, only this time they should be able to hold on to it.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Milwaukee 77, Alabama State 61
12/22 10:31:35 ET