Northeastern (2-6) vs. East Tennessee State (4-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, December 23rd, 12:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Poliforum Benito Juarez (5,800) -- Cancun, Mexico.. Television: None. Home Record: Northeastern 1-3, East Tennessee State 2-0. Away Record: Northeastern 1-2, East Tennessee State 2-5. Neutral Record: Northeastern 0-1, East Tennessee State 0-1. Conference Record: Northeastern 0-1, East Tennessee State 0-1. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Northeastern Huskies and the East Tennessee Buccaneers meet today in a non-conference showdown in the losers bracket of the 2010 Cancun Governor's Cup in Poliforum Benito Juarez.
The Huskies fell into the losers bracket by falling, 71-49, to Saint Louis just a day ago. They have now lost six consecutive contests. The Huskies may be able to figure out a way to reverse the trend, as they are just one season removed from a 20-13 record and an NIT berth. They fell to 0-1 on neutral courts this season with the loss to Saint Louis.
The Buccaneers fell, 64-60, to Southern Miss in a hard-fought contest to earn a date with Northeastern. The loss marked their second in a row, as they dropped a 71-50 decision to Ole Miss before entering the tournament. The defeat also drops ETSU to just 2-6 away from home.
This will be the first-ever meeting between Northeastern and ETSU.
Northeastern failed at both ends of the floor in the opening round of the Governor's Cup. The offense was the main culprit, as the Huskies scored just 49 points on 36.4 percent shooting. They scored a meager 17 first half points and committed 17 turnovers in the game. Not a single starter reached double figures for the Huskies, as Alex Harris' 11 points off the bench were a team high. The defense was ineffective as well, allowing Saint Louis to score 71 points, including a stout 49 points in the decisive second half. Four players scored in double figures for Saint Louis, as the team shot 43.8 percent from beyond the arc in the game. Chaisson Allen continues to lead the Huskies in scoring this season, as he typically pours in around 16.5 ppg. Joel Smith is the only other Northeastern player scoring in double digits, as he puts in 11.5 ppg. The offense has been a point of failure this season, as the Huskies are averaging just 62.1 ppg on 40 percent shooting.
The ETSU rally came up just short against Southern Miss in the opening round. The Bucs trailed by 14 at halftime but were able to get within two points late in the second half before eventually being overwhelmed. Micah Williams played valiantly in the loss, pouring in 16 points on 7-of-19 shooting. He was joined in double figures by Justin Tubbs, who had 14 points and Mike Smith, who had 13. The Buccaneers fought hard defensively against a talented Ole Miss team. They forced 19 turnovers, but unfortunately only converted those opportunities into 11 points. Smith continues to lead the team in scoring this season, averaging an impressive 15.6 ppg, while Williams and Isiah Brown add 12.1 ppg and 10.7 ppg, respectively. The offense will need to improve in the weeks to come, as the Bucs currently shoot just 41.3 percent from the floor.
The losers bracket is typically a tough pill to swallow and both teams will be motivated to rebound with a win. Unfortunately for the Huskies, their struggles may continue for another day against a tougher ETSU team.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: East Tennessee State 63, Northeastern 59
12/23 10:34:27 ET
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