Alabama-Huntsville (3-1) vs. Cleveland State (3-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, November 19, 5 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Charles L. Sewall Center (3,056) -- Moon Township, Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: UAH 2-0, CSU 2-0. Away Record: UAH 0-1, CSU 0-1. Neutral Record: UAH 1-0, CSU 1-0. Conference Record: UAH 0-0, CSU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Alabama-Huntsville Chargers aim to take down another Division I opponent when they square off with the Cleveland State Vikings in the NIT Season Tip-Off consolation round at the Charles L. Sewall Center.
The Chargers are playing up a level as they are members of the NCAA's Division II and the Gulph South Conference. Alabama-Huntsville showed in Manhattan, Kansas that its invitation to the tourney was warranted by pulling off a shocking 78-75 upset of the Tony Mitchell led North Texas Mean Green in the first round. UAH did not find the same success in the second round the next day, as it was held to 16.4 percent shooting in a 61-point loss to the hosting Kansas State Wildcats. Coach Lennie Acuff's squad picked up 66-59 victory over Division II foe Trevecca Nazarene on Saturday to improve to 3-1.
The only blemish of Cleveland State's 3-1 start is a 30-point loss to the nationally ranked Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor. The Vikings bounced back on Saturday with a 12-point win over Old Dominion. Gary Waters is now in his seventh season as CSU's head coach. He guided the team to 22 wins and a second place finish in last season's heavily competitive Horizon League in 2011-2012. Waters has his work cut out for him to repeat that task with only one senior on his current squad's roster.
These schools have never faced each other on the hardwood in history.
UAH made only 39.3 percent of its field goal tries against the Mean Green in the first round, but it drained 12-of-27 attempts from three-point range and 18-of-23 at the charity stripe to edge the Sun Belt Conference's preseason favorite. The Chargers were unable to duplicate their long-range shooting success the following day as they made only 3-of-33 from deep against Kansas State. On Saturday, UAH turned the ball over a season-high 23 times against Trevecca Nazarene. Jaime Smith is pacing the team with 12.3 points and five assists per contest. Wayne Dedrick is close behind with 12 ppg while Zane Campbell is the top rebounder with 6.3 per contest.
The Vikings had an ice cold performance from long range their last time out, as only three of their 15 attempts from beyond the 3-point line were successful. CSU made up for it by clamping down on the perimeter, which led to an 0-of-10 shooting clip from deep for the Monarchs. All of Cleveland State's five starters are averaging double figures through four games. Sophomore point guard Charlie Lee runs the show with team-highs of 13.3 points and six assists per outing. Sophomore forward Anton Grady provides great size inside with his 6-8, 215-pound frame and is second on the team with 13 ppg. Tim Kamczyc, Marlin Mason, and Sebastian Douglas are all threats to lead the team in scoring on any given night. Mason led the way with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field versus Old Dominion.
UAH will have a difficult time sneaking up on the Vikings after their upset of North Texas. Cleveland State's balanced attack will keep the Chargers scrambling around on the defensive end of the floor.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cleveland State 74, Alabama-Huntsville 58
11/19 10:38:41 ET