South Carolina State (4-6) at (12) Missouri (8-1)|
Monday, December 17, 8 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Frank Haynes, Senior College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mizzou Arena (15,061) -- Columbia, Missouri.
Television: MSN. Home Record: SCSU 3-3, UM 6-0. Away Record: SCSU 1-3, UM 0-0.
Neutral Record: SCSU 0-0, UM 2-1. Conference Record: SCSU 0-1, UM 0-0. Series
Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Missouri Tigers go in search of their fifth straight win as
they entertain the Bulldogs of South Carolina State in non-conference action
on Monday night.
South Carolina State comes in two games under .500 (4-6), and hoping to put
the brakes on a three-game losing streak. The Bulldogs were most recently in
action against Albany five days ago, and dropped a 70-61 decision which was
their second of the season to the Great Danes (83-55 on Nov. 20). SCSU is in
the midst of a eight-game road trip, with its next home date slated for Jan.
19 versus league foe Bethune-Cookman. The Bulldogs opened Mid-Eastern Athletic
Conference play on Dec. 3 with a 78-72 loss to Norfolk State.
Missouri is an impressive 8-1 on the season, with its lone loss coming versus
nationally-ranked Louisville (84-61) in the Battle 4 Atlantis event back on
Nov. 23. The Tigers, who have yet to play a true road game, are coming off a
68-38 win over Tennessee State on Dec. 8 -- their best defensive effort of the
season. Mizzou has won 71 straight home games against non-league foes, and 30
of its last 31 against non-conference competition regardless of the venue.
Overall, the Tigers are 73-4 at Mizzou Arena since 2008-09. A victory here
would make the team 9-1 or better for the third straight year, and the fourth
time in the last five.
This bout marks the first meeting between these two schools in men's
Despite their lackluster record, the Bulldogs have done a decent job in
draining long-range shots, doing so at a 38.5 percent clip. Their overall
shooting effort stands at 43.6 percent, leading to a scoring average of 68.0
ppg. Defensively, SC State yields 70.5 ppg while holding the opposition to
lower shooting percentages than it puts forth (.425 overall, .346 3-point).
The Bulldogs are being outrebounded by two caroms per contest, and the team
features three double-digit scorers led by senior guard Khalif Toombs. A 51.4
percent shooter from beyond the arc, Toombs averages 14.1 ppg while also
handing out 4.9 apg. Backcourt mate Adama Adams is close behind with 14.0
points and 3.5 assists per outing, while up front Matthew Hezekiah contributes
12.2 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. Hezekiah scored 18 points and grabbed
eight boards, but his effort went for naught as the Bulldogs dropped a nine-
point decision to Albany last week. Chasen Campbell was the only other SCSU
player to reach double figures in the scoring column by nailing 3-of-5 3-point
attempts to net 11 points, doing so in just 11 minutes of action off the
bench. The Bulldogs hit eight treys in all, but the Great Danes tallied 10
triples while laying claim to an 18-3 advantage in points from the foul line.
With wins in eight of their first nine games, it's not surprising to see the
Tigers excelling at both ends of the court. Despite rather vanilla shooting
efforts (.440 overall, .351 3-point), Missouri averages a healthy 75.1 ppg
while logging a significant advantage on the boards (+13.2). Opponents are
netting just 61.7 ppg behind typical shooting outputs of 36.7 percent overall
and 32.6 percent from beyond the arc. Laurence Bowers leads the team in
scoring (16.9 ppg) while ranking second in rebounding (6.9 rpg). Phil Pressey
(13.0 ppg, 5.8 apg, 3.4 rpg, 17 steals) has been productive in nearly all
aspects of the game, and Alex Oriakhi scores 10.8 ppg while heading the team's
rebounding effort with 8.3 rpg. Bowers (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Oriakhi
(15 points, 10 rebounds) both logged double-doubles in the recent rout of
Tennessee State, while Stefan Jankovic came off the bench to chip in 14
points. UM committed an unsightly 19 turnovers and was just 5-of-19 from 3-
points range, but held its overmatched opponent to 23.8 percent field goal
efficiency, which included a 6-of-24 showing from 3-point land. Missouri
nearly doubled TSU in rebounds (52-27).
Missouri may run into some trouble after this contest, as it faces Illinois
and UCLA next, but the Tigers are clearly superior to the Bulldogs and it
shouldn't take long for them to establish their dominance.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Missouri 79, South Carolina State 57
12/17 10:37:22 ET