Maryland-Eastern Shore (0-3) at South Florida (0-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 16, 7:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Sun Dome (10,411) -- Tampa, Florida. Television: None. Home Record: UMES 0-0, USF 0-1. Away Record: UMES 0-1, USF 0-0. Neutral Record: UMES 0-2, USF 0-0. Conference Record: UMES 0-0, USF 0-0.
GAME NOTES: The Hawks of Maryland-Eastern Shore tangle with the South Florida Bulls on Friday night, as action in the 2012 USF Invitational gets underway at the refurbished Sun Dome in Tampa.
Both teams are looking for their first win of the season, as UMES comes in at 0-3 and USF at 0-1.
The Hawks have dropped decisions to Hawaii (76-64), Houston Baptist (70-55) and Arkansas-Pine Bluff (62-52), all away from home. Maryland-Eastern Shore won't actually play its first home game of the 2012-13 campaign until opening Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference action against Norfolk State on Jan. 12.
South Florida was blown out by Sunshine State rival UCF in its season opener last Saturday, 74-56, and this game is the second in a five-game home stand for the Bulls. USF will play nine of its 12 non-league tilts at home, and in fact even its first two Big East Conference games (Syracuse, Villanova) will take place in Tampa.
This tournament runs for the next few days, with the Hawks taking on Western Michigan and the Bulls battling Loyola-Chicago on Saturday, and the teams will switch partners on Sunday.
Kyree Jones scored a game-high 21 points, while Ronald Spencer led all players with 14 rebounds, but those efforts went for naught as UMES dropped a 10-point decision to Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the final game of the 2012 Rainbow Classic in Honolulu. The Hawks shot just 23 percent from the field, and they missed a staggering 27 of their 33 three-point attempts. Conversely, the Lions hit 7- of-15 long-range tries and 44.2 percent of their total shots. UMES lost the game despite logging advantages in both rebounding (48-34) and points from the foul line (19-9). Jones (17.0 ppg) is the team's only double-digit scorer through the first three games, while Spencer (8.0 rpg) heads the unit's glass- cleaning effort. Overall, the Hawks are netting only 57.0 ppg in hitting a meager 33 percent of their field goal attempts, while allowing 69.3 ppg on 51.3 percent accuracy to the opposition.
Despite 22 points from key reserve Jawanza Poland, the Bulls couldn't muster much offense in the disappointing loss to UCF in their season opener. USF made good on only 36.4 percent of its field goal attempts, which included a 5-of-14 showing from three-point range. The Bulls' starters combined to go just 14- of-39 from the floor, and the team was beaten badly on the boards (45-26) while it watched almost helplessly as the Knights drained 50 percent of their total shots despite committing 16 turnovers. Two players in particular who really struggled were starting guard Martino Brock (2-of-10) and starting forward Victor Rudd (3-of-12).
The Bulls weren't very good in their opener, but expect them to bounce back in a big way against a UMES squad that apparently only has one player capable of making any kind of real impact.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: South Florida 72, Maryland-Eastern Shore 57
11/16 10:43:39 ET