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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 19, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Pete Hanna Center (4,974) -- Birmingham, Alabama. Television: None. Home Record: Appalachian State 5-2. Samford 3-4. Away Record: Appalachian State 2-7, Samford 3-6. Neutral Record: Appalachian State 0-0, Samford 0-2. Conference Record: Appalachian State 3-2, Samford 4-1. Series Record: Appalachian State leads, 5-3.
GAMES NOTES: The Samford Bulldogs look to continue to pick up steam as they play host to the Appalachian State Mountaineers in a Southern Conference conflict at the Pete Hanna Center.
Appalachian State had a season-long five-game winning streak snapped on Thursday as the Mountaineers fell in overtime, 91-88, to Chattanooga. The loss came in the first half of this two-game road stint for the Mountaineers who are now just 2-7 in away contests. Overall Appalachian State is 7-9, a 3-2 ledger against OVC foes. The Mountaineers will host Georgia Southern next.
Samford is still in the midst of its longest winning streak of the season which now stands at three games after a 64-60 victory over Western Carolina on Thursday. Samford still has twice as many losses as wins at 6-12 overall but has put up a 4-1 mark through its first five conference battles. Samford, which is just 3-4 at home, will be on the road in its next three matchups beginning against UNC Greensboro.
In just eight all-time meetings, Appalachian State has the edge in the series with five wins against Samford. The Bulldogs managed to split the season series with the Mountaineers last year to end a five-game winning streak for Appalachian State.
After leading by as many as 19 points against Chattanooga, the Mountaineers allowed the Mocs to rally and eventually triumph in overtime. The Mountaineers missed their last two attempts from the field in regulation and then failed to connect on three of their last four shots in the extra session.
Paced by five different player scoring in double figures Appalachian State has been one of the more impressive offensive teams in the Southern Conference this season. The Mountaineers are posting 73.3 points per game despite just a 42.8 shooting percentage. Jay Canty (15.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.0 apg) has been one of the most productive scorers in the conference as well as one of the most versatile players with his ability to shoot, rebound and distribute. Also in double figures are Nathan Healy (14.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg), Tabarris Hamilton (10.9 ppg), Tevin Baskin (10.4 ppg) and Michael Neal (10.0 ppg, 4.0 apg).
A 7-1 spurt from the Bulldogs late in the game with Western Carolina proved to give them enough separation to hold on to a win. Samford's 37-28 edge on the boards and 21-6 advantage from beyond the arc also proved critical.
While the Mountaineers have managed to put together impressive numbers on the offensive end, Samford has largely struggled. The Bulldogs are netting just 60.4 points per game which is the third worst mark in the conference. Defensively the Bulldogs let up 68.5 points per game on 46.2 percent shooting. The duo of Raijon Kelly (14.6 ppg, 3.8 apg) and Tim Williams (14.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg) has carried Samford offensively. Williams is also among the top five players in the conference in rebounds, blocks (1.4 pg) and field-goal percentage (.529).
Samford has been able to slow teams down during its current win streak and put up enough offensively to come away with victories. However, Appalachian State will have too much firepower for the Bulldogs to keep their winning streak going.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Appalachian State 72, Samford 66
01/19 10:31:50 ET
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