Gardner-Webb (2-3) vs. Howard (0-3)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 20, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Moon Palace Resort (990) -- Cancun, Mexico. Television:
None. Home Record: GWU 1-1, Howard 0-1. Away Record: GWU 1-2, Howard 0-2.
Neutral Record: GWU 0-0, Howard 0-0. Conference Record: GWU 0-0, Howard 0-0.
Series Record: First meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs and Howard Bison are set to
square off in the opening round of the Cancun Classic at Moon Palace Resort in
This will be the first meeting between these schools in history. Both were
placed in the Mayan Division along with Western Carolina and Austin Peay, who
will tip-off the tournament on Tuesday. The winners will advance to play in
the championship round on Wednesday.
Gardner-Webb enters the tourney with a 2-3 overall record after its 65-56 loss
at Iowa on Saturday. The Runnin' Bulldogs also suffered setbacks to North
Carolina and Lipscomb, but they did manage to leave Chicago with a 71-59 win
over the Big East's DePaul Blue Devils. Gardner-Webb is coached by Chris
Holtmann, who is now in his third season with the program.
The Bison are off to an atrocious 0-3 start which includes wide-spread,
double-digit losses to Wichita State and Iowa. Howard came out of the gates
cold in 2012-2013 as it tipped off its season with a 68-62 setback to Lincoln
University, which is a member of the NCAA's Division II. Coach Kevin
Nickelberry is going to have a tough time turning around this Mid-Eastern
Athletic program that finished 10-21 overall last season.
The Runnin' Bulldogs looked like they were going to pick up their second win
on a row on Saturday as they led Iowa 38-18 at halftime, but the Hawkeyes
produced a second half comeback behind an impressive 27-4 run. Gardner-Webb
made 15- of-36 field goal attempts to build its first half lead, but its
accuracy disappeared during the halftime and it made only 5-of-26 attempts
from the floor in the final 20 minutes. The impressive aspect to Gardner-
Webb's win over DePaul and strong performance versus Iowa is that the team was
without two starters, Mike Byron and Tashan Newsome, for the both games. Max
Landis paces the Runnin' Bulldogs with 14 ppg on 43.4 percent shooting while
forward Donta Harper contributed 11.2 points and six boards per outing.
Howard played tough for the first 12 minutes versus Wichita State and trailed
16-14 with 7:27 left before the half. The Shockers then began to expose the
Bison by holding them scoreless and forcing eight turnovers to build a 37-14
halftime advantage. The high total of turnovers seems to be a theme for
Nickelberry's team in the early going as it averages 17.3 per game. Howard is
scoring just 49.3 ppg on 35 percent field goal shooting. Senior guard Calvin
Thompson did not play versus WSU, but he scored a team-best 27 points in the
team's first two contests. Mike Phillips is the Bisons' most consistent
player. The senior forward has scored in double-figures in all three games and
averaged 5.3 rebounds per contest during that span.
The Bison are going to have a difficult time during their stay in Mexico
unless they make some dramatic changes in a hurry. Howard is playing
undisciplined basketball which is putting games well out of reach. The Runnin'
Bulldogs hold a clear edge in terms of personnel which will create an easy
path to the championship round.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Gardner-Webb 70, Howard 53
11/20 10:34:32 ET