CS-Bakersfield (4-8) vs. North Florida (3-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 22, 5:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Orleans Arena (9,500) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: None. Home Record: CSUB 3-2, UNF 2-0. Away Record: CSUB 1-6, UNF 1-8. Neutral Record: CSUB 0-0, UNF 0-0. Conference Record: CSUB 0-0, UNF 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: Third-round action of the 2012 Las Vegas Classic will continue on Saturday afternoon, as the Cal State-Bakersfield Roadrunners take on the North Florida Ospreys at Orleans Arena.
The winner will square off against either Mississippi Valley State or Georgia Southern on Sunday. The losers will also be in action against each other.
Bakersfield did not fare well in the opening rounds of the tournament, as it fell at Portland on Monday (69-51), and at Colorado State on Wednesday (78-58). The Roadrunners had won three of their previous four games, but as a whole their early-season schedule has not been kind as they sit with a 4-8 record.
North Florida also had to hit the road this week for the preliminary rounds of the Classic, and it too dropped games at Colorado State (83-55) and Portland (74-64). The Ospreys have just three wins in 11 tries this season, but most of their losses have come in brutally tough road games, including at Memphis (81-66), Florida State (75-67), Kansas State (74-55), Minnesota (87-59) and Pittsburgh (89-47).
These two programs have never before met on the hardwood.
The Roadrunners haven't had much success at the offensive end of the court this season, as they are shooting just 38.6 percent from the field for 66.5 ppg, and their struggles continued in the 20-point loss to Colorado State. Not only did they allow the Rams to make 50 percent of their field goal attempts, but they connected on just 37.3 percent themselves (including 7-of-24 from 3- point range). CSUB got a handful of big performances in the setback, as Tyrone White scored 18 points, Stephon Carter had 17 and Javante Maynor netted 16 on 5-of-9 accuracy from beyond the arc, but the rest of the squad combined for only seven points. On the season, Carter leads the team in scoring (15.3 ppg) and steals (27), but he is making just 10 percent of his long-range attempts. Brandon Barnes adds 11.3 ppg, and Maynor (10.2 ppg) and White (9.8) both pull off the rare feat of shooting less than 40 percent from the field overall but greater than 40 percent from 3-point range.
UNF's treacherous early-season slate has done a number on the squad, as it averages just 62.0 ppg (minus-10.2 scoring margin) on 41.2 percent field goal shooting. The team hung tough at Portland earlier in the week, cutting its deficit to just three on a few occasions in the second half, but it could not pull out the win. Travis Wallace did all he could to help lift his team to victory, shooting 11-of-17 from the floor for a season-high 27 points, while adding seven rebounds. No other player scored in double figures for the Ospreys, who shot a woeful 4-of-21 from beyond the arc, although Will Wilson dished out eight assists and logged three steals. Leading the way on the season is Parker Smith with 14.8 ppg, and at 38-of-89 from long range (.427), he is responsible for nearly half of his team's 3-point baskets. Wallace chips in 12.9 ppg on nearly 60 percent field goal shooting. UNF has been consistently outmuscled on the glass, losing the rebounding battle by more than nine boards per tilt.
Neither team has shown much consistency this season, so a sloppy matchup could be on tap. Both teams need to be given some credit however, as the majority of their games have been on the road against much better competition. UNF has been the stronger shooting team and it has proven it can hang tough even in its most difficult games, so let's give the Ospreys the advantage.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Florida 70, Cal State Bakersfield 66
12/22 10:32:32 ET