Troy (8-12) at ULM (3-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 26, 5 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Fant-Ewing Coliseum (7,085) -- Monroe, Louisiana. Television: None. Home Record: Troy 6-4, ULM 2-4. Away Record: Troy 1-7, ULM 1-8. Neutral Record: Troy 1-1, ULM 0-0. Conference Record: Troy 3-6, ULM 2-7. Series Record: Troy leads, 7-2.
GAME NOTES: A pair of Sun Belt Conference bottom-dwellars are set to square off at Fant-Ewing Coliseum on Saturday, as the ULM Warhawks play host to the Troy Trojans.
Troy has experienced more downs than ups this season on its way to an 8-12 record and a 3-6 mark in the Sun Belt. The team has lost six straight road games, but things have been looking up of late however, as it has won three of its past five matchups overall.
ULM has been one of the few teams worse off than Troy in the Sun Belt this season, the team sitting at 3-12 overall and bringing up the rear in the league's West Division at 2-7. It has suffered three losing streaks of three games or longer, including its current four-game slide.
After ULM won the first two matchups in the series against Troy, the Trojans have since ripped off a seven-game win streak over the Warhawks, including a 64-55 decision just a few weeks ago (Jan. 10) to take a 7-2 lead.
The Trojans overcame a seven-point deficit with six minutes to play on Thursday night against Arkansas State to force overtime, where they came away with a 74-67 win. They shot 48.2 percent from the field and were paced by 16 points from Emil Jones, who drained the game-tying 3-pointer in the waning seconds of regulation. Antoine Myers (13 points), Hunter Williams (12 points, six assists) and Tevin Calhoun (10 points) were also effective in the triumph.
Troy has not fared well at either end of the court this season, ranking 10th in the Sun Belt in scoring offense (62.2 ppg) while yielding 67.0 ppg to its opponents. The biggest issue for the squad has been the 3-point accuracy. Even though it has attempted the second-most long-range shots in the conference (444), it has connected on only 30.9 percent of them. Jones nets 11.2 ppg to lead the team, while Williams (9.0 ppg, 3.5 apg), Myers (9.0 ppg) and Ray Chambers (7.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg) are also regular contributors.
The Warhawks were thoroughly overmatched at Arkansas State on Thursday, shooting just 36.7 percent from the field (including 1-of-10 from the 3-point line) while committing 19 turnovers in an embarrassing 63-39 defeat. Jayon James tallied 11 points, five rebounds and four assists, but he was also responsible for seven turnovers. Millaun Brown added 10 points, and Amos Olatayo struggled from the field (3-of-13) as well as the foul line (1-of-4), but did manage to rip down 11 rebounds.
It's no surprised that ULM is in last place considering it scores just 57.6 ppg and allows 69.5 ppg for a league-worst scoring margin of minus-11.9, which is more than double the next-worst team. Olatayo brings stability to the frontcourt with 13.4 ppg and 5.5 rpg, and while James is a multi-faceted performer (10.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 4.4 rpg, 1.4 spg), although he is plagued by a poor shooting touch (.380) and a knack for committing turnovers (77). Trent Mackey adds 9.8 ppg to the mix on 39.8 percent 3-point shooting (35-of-88).
Troy has not shown up in many of its away game, but facing a reeling ULM squad is a perfect way to get over its road woes.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Troy 70, ULM 64
01/26 10:37:00 ET