Alabama-Hunstville (2-0) at Kansas State (2-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 13, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bramlage Coliseum (12,528) -- Manhattan, Kansas. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: UAH 1-0, KSU 2-0. Away Record: UAH 0-0, KSU 0-0. Neutral Record: UAH 1-0, KSU 0-0. Conference Record: UAH 0-0, KSU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: As the first Division II program to be invited to participate in the NIT Season Tip-Off, the Chargers of Alabama-Huntsville are rewarded for their first victory in the event with a meeting against host Kansas State in the Midwest Regional Championship Round at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas.
The Chargers, who operate in the Gulf South Conference and are recognized as one of the top teams at the Division II level again this season, managed a comfortable win in their season opener on Friday with a 58-44 triumph over Point Loma Nazarene, but the competition was upgraded yesterday when the group clashed with North Texas. Versus the Mean Green the Chargers didn't back down and in fact led by double figures in the second half of the meeting before capturing a surprising 78-75 victory.
As for the Wildcats, they went from destroying North Dakota in the opener by 33 points to crushing the Lamar Cardinals on Monday, 79-55, in order to advance to this round of action.
Not surprisingly, this is the first-ever meeting between these two team schools on the hardwood, and the winner will head to New York City for the semifinal round of the tourney to face the winner of the South Regional.
Leading the way on offense for the Chargers on Monday against North Texas was Wayne Dedrick who tallied 21 points off the bench in just 23 minutes of action. Jaime Smith added 18 points and eight assists, offsetting his seven turnovers, while Xavier Baldwin tacked on 11 points and seven boards. The first 20 minutes of action were very competitive as the teams traded leads 13 times and went through seven ties before UAH went into the break with a 41-37 advantage. The Chargers shot 7-of-14 behind the three-point line in the period and at the same time held UNT to just 2-of-9 on the perimeter. The Chargers surged ahead by double digits eight minutes into the second half, but the team watched that advantage wither away down the stretch, needing a pair of free throws by Baldwin in the final seconds to secure the three-point decision. Through two games, Jordan Williams leads the way in scoring with 17.5 ppg, while Mitchell checks in with 14.0 ppg and a team-best 9.0 rpg to go along with five of the squad's seven blocks.
Angel Rodriguez scored a game-high 19 points as he helped guide the Kansas State Wildcats to a commanding 24-point victory over Lamar on Monday. Also scoring in double figures for the Wildcats was Will Spradling who dropped in 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting behind the three-point line. The Wildcats opened the meeting on a 15-0 run and it wasn't until the 13:25 mark that Lamar was able to knock down a field goal. The Cardinals converted a total of just six field goals on 21 attempts in the period, leading to a 43-15 deficit at the break. In the second half Lamar turned it around with 57.7 percent accuracy from the floor and a perfect 4-of-4 out on the perimeter, but with a total of 26 turnovers there was no way the Cardinals were going to survive. While it has been just two games, KSU is already outscoring the competition by nearly 30 ppg, thanks mostly to a defense that has held opponents to 36.4 percent accuracy from the field and 7-of-27 behind the three-point line. Rodriguez (16.0 ppg) and Spradling (12.0 ppg) pace the group in the scoring department.
Certainly a win by the Chargers would be a huge story, but considering how dominant Kansas State has been in the early going and that the Wildcats are playing in front of their crowd, this is a game that has to go in favor of the hosts.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kansas State 81, Alabama-Huntsville 62
11/13 10:35:14 ET