High Point (11-16) at Stephen F. Austin (14-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 18th, 7:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: William R. Johnson Coliseum (7,203) -- Nacogdoches, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: High Point 8-6, Stephen F. Austin 9-3. Away Record: High Point 3-10, Stephen F. Austin 5-6. Neutral Record: High Point 0-0, Stephen F. Austin 0-2. Conference Record: High Point 7-10, Stephen F. Austin 8-4. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAMES NOTES: The High Point Panthers and Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks will meet for the first time ever in a BracketBuster pairing at William R. Johnson Coliseum.
Hailing from the Big South conference, High Point has been turning around what has been an otherwise poor season with wins in three of its last four games. The Panthers have improved to 7-10 in conference play and 11-16 overall and will finish the season with a home matchup against Campbell after playing the Lumberjacks.
Stephen F. Austin will be representing the Southland Conference in this bout where the Lumberjacks are a solid 8-4 and currently in second place behind Texas-Arlington, who the Lumberjacks lost to in their last outing. Stephen F. Austin will playing on the road against Lamar when it restarts conference play.
High Point downed Radford 71-62 last time out. In the game the Panthers shot 44.9 percent from the floor, outscored Radford 20-12 from the free throw line and outrebounded the Highlanders 40-28 to overcome 14 turnovers on their way to the win.
The Big South's leading scorer Nick Barbour put on another big performance for the Panthers in the win, dropping in 24 points on 5-of-11 shooting. The senior guard had all his field goals from beyond the arc and is now putting in 19.9 points per game and shooting an incredible 50.0 percent from three-point range which is the fifth best mark in the country. Shay Shine, also a senior guard, has been a solid scorer as the second option for the Panthers netting 15.3 points per game while also producing well on the glass for a guard (5.2 rpg). Junior forward Corey Law (9.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg) is the team's leader on the inside and is the only other player scoring near double figures. Lack of scoring depth has hurt High Point as the Panthers score 70.9 points per game which is sixth in the conference while allowing opponents to keep pace at 70.5 points per game.
Stephen F. Austin let a big halftime lead slip away against Texas-Arlington on Thursday. The Lumberjacks led 32-19 at the end of the first half but managed to score only 15 points on 19.0 percent shooting in the second period as they were unable to capture a critical win in conference play.
The Lumberjacks have not had the benefit of any dominant individual scorers this season and the team's total offensive effort has suffered with the Lumberjacks scoring only 61.3 points per game. Stephen F. Austin has been able to find success by offsetting the team's offensive struggles with a defense that locks down opposing squads in allowing only 55.4 points per game. Junior forward Taylor Smith (8.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg) normally paces the team on the boards but against Texas-Arlington, he also led the team in scoring by putting in 15 points. Senior center Jereal Scott (13.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg) is the team's leading scorer on the season but managed only six points while playing just 20 minutes due to foul trouble. Junior guard Antonio Bostic (11.0 ppg) is the only other player for the Lumberjacks averaging in double figures.
With its home crowd behind it, Stephen F. Austin will be able to clamp down on High Point and take advantage of the Panthers' defensive deficiencies to claim a win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Stephen F. Austin 63, High Point 59
02/18 10:39:43 ET