Delaware (5-8) at Old Dominion (2-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 5, 12 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Constant Convocation Center (9,520) -- Norfolk, Virginia. Television: CSN, TCN. Home Record: UD 3-1, ODU 1-8. Away Record: UD 1-5, ODU 0-4. Neutral Record: UD 1-2, ODU 1-0. Conference Record: UD 0-0, ODU 0-2. Series Record: ODU leads, 14-6.
GAME NOTES: The Delaware Blue Hens are set to open their Colonial Athletic Association schedule, as they pay a visit to the Constant Convocation Center to take on the Old Dominion Monarchs.
Delaware has scuffled to a 5-8 record, but the team has picked up its play with two straight victories entering this weekend's tilt. Most recently, the Blue Hens notched a 73-66 home win over Rider on New Year's Eve in their final non-conference tuneup. Following this contest, they'll return home to face Hofstra on Wednesday.
Old Dominion sits at 2-12 and has lost 11 of its last 12 outings. The Monarchs dropped a 55-54 decision to Fairfield last Saturday and followed that up with a 58-55 setback to James Madison on Wednesday. After winning 22 games in 2011-12, it's safe to say the Monarchs' final season in the CAA has not gone as planned. They are moving to Conference-USA next season.
The Monarchs have won four straight and seven of the last eight meetings with UD, as they lead the all-time series, 14-6.
The Blue Hens appeared rejuvenated playing their first game in 10 days, as forwards Jamelle Hagins and Josh Brinkley helped led the way to a sizeable 52-31 rebounding advantage. It marked the second game in a row the team pulled down more than 50 rebounds. Hagins is the nation's second-leading rebounder, averaging 12.2 caroms per game. He notched his ninth double-double of the season against Rider, posting 14 points and 16 boards. Brinkley scored a season-high 17 points to go along with eight boards. Devon Saddler added a season-high seven assists in addition to 12 points, while fellow guard Jarvis Threatt also scored 12 in the win. Saddler paces the squad with 19.2 points per game on the season, and he has knocked down a team-best 24 3-pointers (.343). Hagins (13.2 ppg) and Threatt (10.2 ppg) round out the double-digit scorers.
The Monarchs boast a +6.4 rebounding margin, but they have shot just 40.8 percent from the floor as a team and are -6.4 in scoring margin. DeShawn Painter is the only player averaging double figures, as he is tallying 11.5 points and a team-high 8.3 rebounds per tilt. Nine different players have cracked coach Blaine Taylor's starting lineup this season, although he has yet to settle on a productive starting-five. Painter registered 14 points and a personal-best 13 rebounds against JMU, marking his third double-double in a row and fifth of the season. However, he was also the only starter in double figures for the Monarchs, who shot 37 percent as a team and committed 15 turnovers. Dimitri Batten contributed 12 points in 19 minutes off the bench, as he knocked down 3-of-8 treys.
The Blue Hens have a chance to put their rough start to the season in the rearview mirror as they delve into their conference schedule. Look for UD to ride its high-low combination of Saddler and Hagins to victory in its CAA opener.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Delaware 63, Old Dominion 59
01/05 10:35:11 ET