Milwaukee (2-2) vs. Jacksonville (2-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 24, 4:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Puerto Vallarta International Convention Center (300) -- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Television: None. Home Record: Milwaukee 2-0, Jacksonville 1-0. Away Record: Milwaukee 0-2, Jacksonville 1-3. Neutral Record: Milwaukee 0-0, Jacksonville 0-0. Conference Record: Milwaukee 0-0, Jacksonville 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Milwaukee Panthers and the Jacksonville Dolphins will face off on Saturday afternoon in the consolation round of the Hoops for Hope Classic in Puerto Vallarta.
Milwaukee will finish up the tournament on Sunday against Rider, while this will be Jacksonville's last game in Mexico.
Since starting the season with a 76-46 win over the University of Mary, Milwaukee has alternated wins with losses en route to a 2-2 record. The Panthers' two defeats came in the preliminary matchups for this tournament, falling to South Carolina (82-75) and Arkansas-Little Rock (59-43) to drop to the consolation bracket.
Jacksonville earned a 78-48 win over Trinity Baptist in its home-opener on Nov. 13, but since then it has lost three of four. The Dolphins managed to win their opening matchup in the Classic on the road against Missouri State (64-58), but it followed that up with a loss at Arkansas-Little Rock (78-56) and a defeat at the hands of Rider in its first game in Puerto Vallarta on Friday (86-71).
This marks the first-ever meeting between these two squads.
Milwaukee's inconsistent start is easily explained by its sporadic field goal percentage, as it is connecting on just 39.4 percent of its shots from the floor for 66.8 ppg, which has spoiled a great effort on the defensive end of the floor (.406 field goal percentage defense, 63.8 scoring defense). The Panthers' 43-point effort against UALR was their worst performance to date, as they committed more turnovers (19) than field goals made (17) and shot a woeful 5-of-22 from three-point range. Demitrius Harris (15 points), Jordan Aaron (13) and Austin Arians (13) all scored in double figures, but amazingly enough the rest of the team combined for just two points on 1-of-15 from the field. Aaron has gotten off to a fast start through four games, leading the team in scoring (19.0 ppg) and assists (5.0 apg) and he actually shoots a greater percentage from beyond the arc (.452) than he does overall (.433). Harris (11.0 ppg) and Arians (9.3 ppg) have also been reliable sources of points, with each sporting a field goal percentage of greater than 51 percent.
Jacksonville has shot marginally better from the floor than Milwaukee, but at 42.2 percent, it's still not much to write home about, and its three-point field goal percentage has been dreadful (.245). The loss to Rider was only the second time this season the Dolphins had scored more than 70 points, but they still had merely an average day from the floor (.410) and made good on just 1- of-14 from beyond the arc. Keith McDougald and Glenn Powell did all they could to keep their team in the game. Powell dropped a double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds, and McDougald scored 20 points and grabbed six boards. McDougald is the team's leading scorer through six games with 11.0 ppg, but it comes at a steep cost as he's shooting just 33.8 percent from the floor (and 16 percent from three-point range). Jarvis Haywood (10.2 ppg) is the only other Dolphin who averages double figures in points.
Neither team has been a model of consistency on the young season. Milwaukee has been especially disappointing coming off a 20-win season a year ago, but figure the Panthers to put it together against a less talented Jacksonville squad.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Milwaukee 77, Jacksonville 66
11/24 10:33:17 ET