Hartford (7-19) at Saint Peter's (5-22)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 18th, 2:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Yanitelli Center (3,200) -- Jersey City, New Jersey. Television: None. Home Record: Hartford 4-7, Saint Peter's 3-8. Away Record: Hartford 3-11, Saint Peter's 2-12. Neutral Record: Hartford 0-1, Saint Peter's 0-2. Conference Record: Hartford 7-7, Saint Peter's 4-12. Series Record: Saint Peter's lead 6-1.
GAMES NOTES: The Hartford Hawks will take on the Saint Peter's Peacocks in a BracketBuster pairing of America East and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference squads at the Yanitelli Center.
This will be the eighth meeting all-time between these schools but the first since 1997 when Saint Peters downed the Hawks 87-71 to push its advantage to 6-1 in the series.
Hartford is currently riding a three-game winning streak which ties a season high for the Hawks. Hartford was abysmal to begin the year going 0-13 to being the season before posting its first win with a 56-49 triumph over New Hampshire on January 5th. The Hawks are now 7-7 in conference play but remain a paltry 7-19 overall. There are just two games left on the schedule for Hartford after this game beginning with a home matchup against conference leading Stony Brook.
Saint Peter's woes have been more pronounced this season as the Peacocks are just 5-22 overall and currently on a four-game losing streak. Saint Peter's has not been able to put together consecutive wins once this season while having four losing streaks of at least three games. The MAAC schedule continues for the Peacocks with a matchup against Niagara next time out.
Hartford shot 45.5 percent from the floor and limited Maine to just 37.0 percent while forcing 17 turnovers to capture a 64-50 win in the Hawks' last outing.
Freshman Nate Sikma enjoyed a 20-point outburst in the win for Hartford, which was the second time he has had at least 20 points in the past three games. Sikma (8.7 ppg) has still not been able to score effectively on a consistent basis. Senior guard Andres Torres (11.8 ppg, 4.0 apg) is the team's leading scorer while also running the point in leading the squad in assists. Torres took a backseat to Sikma by scoring five points in the recent win but was effective in setting his teammates up by dishing out eight assists against Maine. Torres is the only player averaging in double figures for the Hawks this season, with the team netting just 60.1 points per game, on 41.0 percent from the floor. Hartford is also a weak team on the boards with a 29.3 rebounds per game mark that is last in the America East Conference.
Saint Peter's reached a new low in a 61-38 loss to Fairfield on Wednesday. The Peacocks shot just 28.3 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 25 times en route to its lowest scoring game this season.
The performance was disturbing, even for Saint Peter's, which nets just 58.3 points per game. Like the Hawks, Saint Peter's is hampered by an inability to crash the boards, as the Peacocks manage just 30.8 rebounds per game. In the loss to Fairfield, no player managed to get into double figures with senior guard Brandon Hall (3.2 ppg) coming the closest by netting nine points. Finding consistent double-digit scorers has been a problem for Saint Peter's not just in the game but all season. Darius Conley (11.0 ppg) is the lead scorer but has not been above 10 points in three straight games, while Chris Prescott (10.8 ppg) has been out of double figures in six straight. Conley is the only player for Saint Peter's that has been effective on the glass pulling down 7.4 rebounds per game.
This game features two squads that lack offensive punch and are accustomed to winding up on the losing end of games. Hartford's momentum in its last few outings may carry over and push the Hawks o victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Hartford 62, Saint Peter's 60
02/18 10:39:38 ET