Charlotte (13-2) at Rhode Island (5-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 12, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ryan Center (7,657) -- Kingston, Rhode Island. Television: OSN. Home Record: Charlotte 8-1, URI 4-3. Away Record: Charlotte 2-1, URI 1-4. Neutral Record: Charlotte 2-1, URI 0-2. Conference Record: Charlotte 1-0, URI 0-1. Series Record: Charlotte leads, 6-5.
GAME NOTES: Atlantic 10 Conference play resumes for the Charlotte 49ers and Rhode Island Rams, as the two are set to tip it off at the Ryan Center.
Charlotte is off to a torrid 13-2 start to the 2012-13 season and has won four of its last five outings. Most recently, the 49ers claimed a 74-65 win over La Salle Wednesday night in their A-10 opener. That game wrapped up the 49ers' four-game homestand.
Rhode Island lost its first five games of the season but has since righted the ship by going 5-4. Still, there is more work to be done as the Rams opened their A-10 slate Wednesday night with a 64-61 setback at Richmond despite a late rally. The team will be happy to return home to the Ryan Center, where four of its five wins this season have occurred.
In terms of the all-time series between these two teams, Charlotte owns a slim 6-5 advantage.
Charlotte put forth a sound overall effort in the win over La Salle, led by Pierria Henry's career-best 20 points. Three bench players joined Henry in double figures, as E. Victor Nickerson tallied 13 points, Darion Clark scored 12, and DeMario Mayfield finished with 10. Each member of that trio also grabbed at least six rebounds in the victory. Defensively, the 49ers held La Salle -- a solid shooting team -- to 32.5-percent shooting from the floor and a 4-of-29 effort from beyond the arc (.138). Chris Braswell leads the team in scoring at 12.1 ppg, but he has scored just 11 points in the last two games combined.
Xavier Munford paces URI with 18.0 points per game, while Nikola Malesevic is averaging 11.1 points and 5.2 rebounds. The 49ers are not a particularly potent offensive team, averaging just 60.8 ppg, but they have made recent strides under first-year head coach Dan Hurley. Against Richmond earlier this week, the Rams trailed by 10 at the break (38-28), but made a game of it over the final 20 minutes, outscoring the Spiders 33-26 in the second half. Munford once again led the way in defeat with 25 points. Mike Aaman added 13 points off the bench.
Although these two teams are sporting vastly different records, they aren't as far apart as one may think at this time. Still, with momentum on their side, the 49ers should earn a road win here, but it may not come without a fight by the Rams.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Charlotte 67, Rhode Island 63
01/12 10:35:58 ET