Troy (10-13) at South Alabama (12-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 7, 8:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mitchell Center (10,000) -- Mobile, Alabama. Television: None. Home Record: TU 7-4, USA 6-3. Away Record: TU 2-8, USA 6-4. Neutral Record: TU 1-1, USA 0-2. Conference Record: TU 5-7, USA 9-4. Series Record: South Alabama leads, 13-6.
GAME NOTES: Two teams on opposite ends of the Sun Belt Conference's East Division standings meet at the Mitchell Center in Mobile, as the last-place Troy Trojans visit the second-place South Alabama Jaguars.
The Trojans took down Louisiana, 71-52, last Saturday and have now won three of their last four games. Although they sit in last place in the East, their record of 5-7 in the division places them just two games out of third place. The Trojans are eighth in the conference overall.
After outlasting Arkansas-Little Rock on the road last weekend, 70-66, the Jaguars come into this contest as winners of four of their last five decisions, and five of their last seven overall. Their 9-4 league ledger has them in second place in the East Division, three games behind Middle Tennessee.
The Jaguars lead the all-time series with the Trojans, 13-6. South Alabama has won the last three meetings, all of which came last season. The teams have met in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament in three of the last four years.
Tevin Calhoun led the way with 15 points, as the Trojans shut down the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns, 71-52, at Trojan Arena last weekend. Ray Chambers added 10 points and Antoine Myers pulled down nine rebounds to go with six assists. In the second half, the Trojans put the game away by knocking down 50 percent of their field goal tries, including 5-of-9 from beyond the 3-point arc. They pushed their lead to as many as 24 in the second half, as they cruised to victory.
The Trojans' struggles have been primarily at the offensive end this season, as they score just 62.5 ppg while connecting on a league-low 40.1 percent of their field goal attempts. They do lead the league in assist/turnover ratio (1.1). Emil Jones is the lone player to net in double figures on a nightly basis with 10.9 ppg, although Hunter Williams (9.8 ppg) has inched closer in that regard. Jones and Williams have also combined for 148 assists compared to 78 turnovers.
Augustine Rubit registered a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Jaguars to a 70-66 victory over the Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans at the Jack Stephens Center. Antoine Allen also notched 17 points for USA, while Mychal Ammons scored 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor.
Rubit anchors the squad and is one of the Sun Belt's most impressive forces, as he ranks in the top-five in the conference in several categories -- scoring 19.0 ppg (second), pulling down 10.8 rpg (first), swatting 1.5 bpg (fifth), and shooting 78.6 percent from the free-throw line (fifth). Joining Rubit in the paint is Mychal Ammons, who adds 11.0 ppg, 6.9 rpg and more than a block per contest, while Antoine Allen nets 9.2 ppg, but does so while struggling from the field (.321). The Jags are the top rebounding team in the conference, pulling down 37.7 rpg, and they are second in blocked shots (4.8 bpg).
Both clubs coming into this clash on a bit of roll, but the Jags are the more complete team given the Trojan's offensive woes. Expect Rubit to continue to dominate league games, and for USA to grab the victory as a result.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: South Alabama 73, Troy 63
02/07 10:30:59 ET