Monmouth (0-3) vs. Albany (1-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, November 21st, 5:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Patriot Center (10,000) -- Fairfax, Virginia. Television: None. Home Record: Monmouth 0-0, Albany 0-0. Away Record: Monmouth 0-2, Albany 0-2. Neutral Record: Monmouth 0-1, Albany 1-0. Conference Record: Monmouth 0-0, Albany 0-0. Series Record: Monmouth leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The Monmouth Hawks try once again to break into the win column today as they tangle with the Albany Great Danes as part of the NIT Season Tip-Off at the Patriot Center in Virginia.
Monmouth, which has yet to play a home game in 2011-12, lost at both Villanova and Virginia Tech in official road tests before being held to a season-low 39 points in a 32-point setback versus George Mason in the most recent loss last Tuesday night.
As for the Great Danes, they too have been on the road so far this season, but at least they have the satisfaction of having recorded at least one win, a 77-68 triumph over Brown a week ago. A day later the team visited the nationally-ranked Syracuse Orange and was blown away in a 98-74 final.
With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, the Hawks have a 2-0 lead over Albany thanks in part to a 61-52 win on the road during the 2000-01 campaign.
If the Hawks thought they had a tough time in the first half against George Mason when they made a mere nine field goals on 29 attempts, there's no way they were prepared for the second half when they connected on a feeble five field goals, en route to a lopsided loss at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg. Not a single player scored in double figures for Monmouth, although Ed Waite came close with nine points and was also tops in the paint with 12 rebounds. In addition to shooting just 3-of-17 beyond the arc and 8-of-15 at the free- throw line, the Hawks easily had more turnovers (19) than made baskets (14). At both ends of the floor the Hawks have struggled in a big way, scoring just 51.7 ppg on a minuscule 29.2 percent shooting from the floor and 12-of-65 (.185) out on the perimeter, while the defense has allowed opponents to make good on 54.4 percent from the floor and 50.8 percent beyond the arc, en route to a whopping 89.3 ppg.
Albany didn't shrink under the pressure of playing in front of more than 17,000 at the Carrier Dome, but still the team had to accept the loss to the Orange just the same. For the third time in as many games Gerardo Suero led the way for the Great Danes with a season-best 31 points, converting 11-of-12 shots at the free-throw line in an effort to keep the tiny program relative on the big stage. Logan Aronhalt responded with another 20 points, although he shot just 6-of-18 from the field, while Mike Black tallied 11 points but was guilty of five of the unit's 16 turnovers in the meeting. One of the top scorers in the nation in the early going, Suero is responsible for a whopping 25.7 ppg as he shoots just under 60 percent from the field. Aronhalt chips in with 17.3 ppg as he plays 37 minutes per game, while Black tacks on 10.3 ppg, but beyond those three the Albany offense doesn't have many supporting players who can occasionally step up and be a leader.
If Suero has anything to say about it today, Albany will be evening its season record and sending the Hawks to yet another loss.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Albany 79, Monmouth 61
11/21 10:31:03 ET