Alabama-Huntsville (3-2) vs. Bowling Green (1-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 20, 5 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Charles L. Sewall Center (3,056) -- Moon Township, Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: Alabama-Huntsville 2-0, Bowling Green 1-0. Away Record: Alabama-Huntsville 0-1, Bowling Green 0-1. Neutral Record: Alabama-Huntsville 1-1, Bowling Green 0-2. Conference Record: Alabama- Huntsville 0-0, Bowling Green 0-0. Series Record: First meeting.
GAME NOTES: In their second game in as many days the Bowling Green Falcons will get a test from the Alabam-Huntsville Chargers as part of the NIT Season Tip-Off at the Charles L. Sewall Center.
Although the Chargers came up short against Cleveland State on Monday night Alabama-Huntsville gave the Vikings everything they could handle in a 71-69 loss. With the defeat the Chargers are 3-2 overall this season and 1-2 against Division I opponents. The one win came in a 78-75 triumph over North Texas. Alabama-Huntsville will return to the Division II level in its next game against Tuskegee.
For the third straight game, Bowling Green wound up in the loss column after a 71-60 defeat to Robert Morris in the Falcons' third game in the Tip-Off and first in the Moon Township regional. The Falcons are now 1-3 overall this season and unlike the Chargers have yet to earn a victory against a Division I opponent. The lone win came against NAIA foe Lake Erie. Bowling Green will be at home in its next five games beginning against Detroit next Tuesday.
There has been no previous meetings between these two programs.
Alabama-Huntsville actually led at the half (34-32) and for the majority of the second half against Cleveland State but ran out of gas down the stretch. After the Vikings tied the score 67-67 with a little more than three minutes remaining the Chargers missed all four of their final field goal attempts including a pair of shots in the last five seconds. Conner Blasi was the lead scorer in the contest with 19 points.
Playing in tight games was a new experience for the Chargers who are suffering from a -7.8 scoring differential on the season. As a team the Chargers are scoring only 59.4 points per game although much of that has been a symptom of the three different Division I squads the Chargers have faced. As might be expected, shooting woes have been the reason for the Chargers' issues on offense with the team connecting on just 39.2 percent of its shots from the field including 32.7 percent from beyond the arc. Jaime Smith (10.8 ppg) and Wayne Dedrick (12.2 ppg) are the lead scorers on the roster while Zane Campbell (10.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg) leads the efforts on the glass.
Bowling Green kept pace with Robert Morris in the first half and entered the locker room tied 29-29 after shooting 57.1 percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes. The Falcons couldn't keep up that rate of offensive efficiency in the second half with the Falcons successful on just 42.9 percent of its shots in the final frame including 3-of-12 from beyond the arc. A'uston Calhoun (17 points) and Jordon Crawford (16) were the only players in double figures.
Where the Falcons would be without Calhoun and Crawford is a frightening thought. On the season the pair are the only players scoring more than 5.3 points per game on the squad. Calhoun (18.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg) is the top option and the lead rebounder though his 12 turnovers are a concern. Crawford (17.5 ppg, 4.3 apg, 2.3 spg) has been a solid contributor out of the backcourt and although other players have had limited production, he has been steady as a distributor. Crawford has struggled with turnovers as well with 16 miscues. With such a lack of diversity on offense the Falcons' defensive efforts (70.8 points allowed per game) have largely put them in holes they can't climb out of.
With one win against a Division I opponent already on its ledger, Alabama- Huntsville could be a much greater challenge than this game might have seemed when the season began. Still Calhoun and Crawford are too talented to let the Falcons slide to four straight losses.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Bowling Green 68, Alabama-Huntsville 60
11/20 12:52:35 ET