Utah Valley (1-3) vs. Alcorn State (0-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 26th, 3:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mitchell Center (10,000) -- Mobile, Alabama. Television: None. Home Record: Utah Valley 1-0, Alcorn State 0-0. Away Record: Utah Valley 0-2, Alcorn State 0-5. Neutral Record: Utah Valley 0-1, Alcorn State 0-2. Conference Record: Utah Valley 0-0, Alcorn State 0-0.
GAME NOTES: Still searching for their very first win of the 2009-10 campaign, the Alcorn State Braves give it another shot this afternoon as they face off against the Utah Valley Wolverines in the consolation game of the Second Annual USA Thanksgiving Tournament at the Mitchell Center in Mobile.
Of all the teams in the SWAC, the Braves are one of four without a victory to this point in the season, but in their case they've already run through a total of seven contests. On Wednesday, the team took part in the first round of this tourney and turned in an 83-67 loss against South Alabama.
Meanwhile, the Wolverines suffered their third consecutive defeat following an 80-72 win against North Dakota State in the opener, bowing to Georgia State in the first round of the tourney yesterday. After this game, Utah Valley returns home to play three in a row and five of the next six.
The Wolverines went from shooting only 37.9 percent from the field in the first half against Georgia State last night to a mere 8-of-30 from the floor after the break, knocking the squad into the loss column yet again. Corey Claitt led the way for Utah Valley with his 13 points in 33 minutes of work, but he shot only 4-of-19 from the floor and 2-of-7 behind the three-point line in the setback. Justin Baker and Jordan Swarbrick chipped in 11 and 10 points, respectively, as the team finished the night hitting on only 7-of-25 from beyond the arc. Claitt, who was playing his first game of the new season against GSU yesterday, doesn't appear as though he is fully ready to be a scoring force for the Wolverines, given how spotty his shooting was. Swarbrick (12.3 ppg) and Baker (11.0 ppg) have seen action in all four games thus far and have watched Utah Valley put up a mere 58.5 ppg. On the positive side, opponents have shot only 38.8 percent from the floor and 26.0 percent beyond the arc.
Jonathan Boyd tallied 13 points, leading four players in double figures for the Braves last night, but he shot just 4-of-12 from the floor over the course of 35 minutes of action. Jamar Ragland chipped in 11 points, Ian Francis added 10 points and seven boards, followed by Keith Searcy who also tallied 10 points, but turned the ball over seven times. The team as a whole suffered 22 miscues, which the Jaguars turned into 31 points. JaMarkus Holt chipped in eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Heading into Wednesday's game Boyd, who is one of two returning starters from a season ago, was averaging 11.8 ppg and had accounted for 17 of the unit's 32 three-point baskets thus far. While Boyd handles the action on the perimeter, Holt (11.7 ppg) is the one who looms in the paint and cleans up with a team-best 8.2 rpg and has blocked 12 shots. However, the knock on Holt is that he is shooting only 34.8 percent from the floor and has been tagged with 24 turnovers, against a mere two assists.
As good as Boyd and Holt might play on any given night, the team as a whole tends to make far too many mistakes to get into the win column. This might have been a good chance for that elusive first win, but with Claitt back on board Utah Valley won't roll over that easy.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Utah Valley 67, Alcorn State 64
11/26 10:52:01 ET
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