North Florida (5-5) at Indiana (6-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 7, 7:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Assembly Hall (17,472) -- Bloomington, Indiana. Television: BTN. Home Record: UNF 3-1, IU 5-0. Away Record: UNF 2-4, IU 0-1. Neutral Record: UNF 0-0, IU 1-1. Conference Record: UNF 0-0, IU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The North Florida Ospreys have flown north to challenge the Indiana Hoosiers in non-conference action.
North Florida is an even 5-5 on the season, and it's been a streaky start for the team as it has a two-game slide and a three-game win streak already on the docket. Recently, the Ospreys dropped a 76-48 decision at Alabama on Wednesday, giving it two losses in the last three games. This is the second of a murderous three-game road trip for UNF, which will take on another Big Ten Conference foe, current No. 1 team Michigan State 10 days from now. North Florida already lost at Ohio State this season, 99-64, to fall to 0-6 all-time against teams from the Big Ten.
Indiana won its first five games, but has lost two of its last three. The Hoosiers took part in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday, and were summarily dismissed by the Syracuse Orange in a 69-52 final. The team's other setback occurred against UConn (59-58) in New York City as part of the 2K Sports Classic. IU has only a matchup with intrastate rival Notre Dame left as its only other game of note before kicking off conference play at Illinois on New Year's Eve.
This bout marks the first-ever meeting between these two teams on the hardwood.
Sporting a .500 record, it's no wonder the Ospreys own similar statistical figures as the opposition, the team averaging 73.1 ppg while allowing 74.2 ppg. North Florida is shooting 44.9 percent from the field, and foes are converting 46.3 percent of their total shots. They are near equals from long range as well (.361 to .351), but while the team is in the black with regard to rebounding margin (+2.8), it's in the red in turnovers (-3.3). Travis Wallace (12.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg) and Dallas Moore (10..3 ppg, 23 assists) are the only two players currently averaging double digits in the scoring column, with the former also pacing the club's rebounding effort and the latter serving as one of its primary playmakers. No UNF player reached double figures in the recent loss to Alabama, Charles McRoy and Devin Wilson coming closest with eight points apiece. The Ospreys shot just 31.6 percent from the floor, and committed 15 turnovers.
The first-ever regular-season meeting between Syracuse and Indiana certainly didn't favor the latter as the Hoosiers shot just 36.6 percent from the field, missing the mark on 10 of their 14 3-point attempts along the way, while also committing 16 turnovers. As for the Orange, they hit 51.1 percent of their total shots, draining 6-of-13 3-point tries along the way. Freshman Noah Vonleh paced Indiana with 17 points and six rebounds, although the bulk of his scoring came at the free-throw line (13-of-16), and he was guilty of four miscues. Having the hot hand from downtown, Kevin Ferrell (4-of-7 3-point land) added 12 points. For the season, Ferrell (17.4 ppg, 29 assists), Vonleh (13.4 ppg, 9.9 rpg) and Will Sheehey (10.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg) pace the team, which puts up 82.1 ppg despite shooting just 28.1 percent from 3-point range. Troy Williams (9.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and Jeremy Hollowell (9.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg) are close to joining the double-digit ranks.
Despite their recent lackluster play, the Hoosiers are clearly the superior team in this matchup, and it won't take long for them to pull away.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Indiana 83, North Florida 61
12/07 10:34:20 ET