Southern University (1-3) at Wyoming (3-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 16, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Arena-Auditorium (15,000) -- Laramie, Wyoming. Television: None. Home Record: Southern 0-0, Wyoming 3-0. Away Record: Southern 0-2, Wyoming 0-2. Neutral Record: Southern 0-2, Wyoming 0-0. Conference Record: Southern 0-0, Wyoming 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The final game of the Global Sports Hoops Showcase will feature the host Wyoming Cowboys and the Southern University Jaguars.
Southern's time at the event has been a mixed bag. The Jaguars first earned an 83-79 victory over South Dakota in its first game, but the in Thursday's matchup, they were less fortunate and wound up on the wrong end of a 59-55 final against NC Central. With those results added to the rest of its efforts this season, Southern is staring at a 1-3 overall record. The next opportunity to improve on that mark will be against Tulane next Saturday.
Hosting duties have suited Wyoming well, as the Cowboys have won both of their games in the showcase and their first three games of the season overall. The Cowboys made quick work of South Dakota on Thursday night and ran away with a 71-51 decision. Against NC Central, Wyoming posted a 73-60 victory. The Cowboys will hit the road for the first time this season in their next matchup against Northern Colorado.
This bout marks the first meeting between these two schools in men's basketball.
The Jaguars kept it tight throughout but in the end came up short against NC Central. For the game Southern shot a less-than-stellar 39.1 percent from the field and were also slowed by 21 turnovers. Also not helping matters was the Jags' 39-30 deficit on the boards. Malcolm Miller paced the club with 17 points, while Derick Beltran finished in double figures yet again despite missing all five of his shots from beyond the arc.
Beltran has had no problem putting up impressive point totals this season as he leads the team in scoring (17.5 ppg). The senior guard has not been afraid to take shots from anywhere on the court and has been a solid rebounder (5.8 ppg), but could stand to improve his efficiency from 3-point range (.312). Miller has been solid in a reserve role (10.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg), although head coach Roman Banks has relied on him heavily with Miller playing the third-most minutes per game on the squad (27.5). On the interior, 6-foot-9 forward Javan Mitchell (11.5 ppg,4.2 rpg) has scored reasonably well but has not been a strong rebounder.
Led by Luke Martinez's 21 points, Wyoming was easily able to overcome South Dakota in its second game of this three-day event. Wyoming was efficient on offense (.456 FG percentage ) and dominant on defense in holding the Coyotes to 30.2 percent shooting. Wyoming also moved the ball well with 18 assists compared to just seven for USD.
Although Martinez has scored 20 or more points in each of the last two games it has been Leonard Washington that has led the charge for the Cowboys. The senior forward is nearly averaging a double-double (16.7 ppg, 9.3 rpg) while shooting at a team-high 57.1 percent clip. That's not to say that Martinez has not been tremendous himself. The senior guard is just behind Washington in terms of scoring (15.7 ppg), and despite taking the majority of his shots from the wing has been extremely efficient from the floor overall (.500 FG percentage). Derrious Gilmore (10.3 ppg, 3.3 apg) is another strong backcourt performer who has been able to score and distribute with equal success. In terms of production off the bench, Josh Adams (5.0 ppg) is the best option.
Wyoming has breezed through the first two games of this event and there is little reason to believe that won't continue here.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wyoming 72, Southern University 58
11/16 10:38:57 ET