SE Missouri State (7-6) at UMKC (4-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 22, 1:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Swinney Recreation Center (2,000) -- Kansas City, Missouri. Television: KSMO-TV. Home Record: SEMO 4-1, UMKC 2-3. Away Record: SEMO 2-3, UMKC 1-3. Neutral Record: SEMO 1-2, UMKC 1-1. Conference Record: SEMO 0-0, UMKC 1-1. Series Record: SEMO leads, 6-2.
GAMES NOTES: In a Show-Me State battle the SE Missouri State Redhawks will battle the UMKC Kangaroos at Swinney Recreation Center on Saturday afternoon.
SE Missouri State put an end to a two-game losing skid on Wednesday with a 94-71 rout of New Orleans at home. The victory pushed the Redhawks back over .500 as they are now 7-6 overall. That contest occurred at home where the Redhawks are 4-1 this season. Results on the road have been more varied as the Redhawks are 2-3 in true road games and 1-2 in neutral site contests.
After a 76-61 loss to Iowa State on Wednesday UMKC has now lost three-straight games and five of their last seven. Those type of results have brought the Kangaroos down to 4-7 this season. The loss to Iowa State was the third straight at home for UMKC which is just 2-3 on its home floor. UMKC hits the road for a non-conference tilt in its next game when it faces Kansas State in Manhattan.
In terms of the all-time series, SE Missouri State has the advantage with six wins in eight previous meetings.
The win over New Orleans was not as certain in the first half for SE Missouri State as the Redhawks held just a 42-39 edge at halftime. However the Redhawks dominated the second frame by hitting on 54.8 percent of its shots from the floor, including a 5-of-11 showing from beyond the arc. Corey Wilford led four players in double figures with 18 points.
The Redhawks are scoring a healthy 71.8 points per game, while shooting at a 46.3 percent clip this season. The frontcourt tandem of Tyler Stone and Nino Johnson anchor the Redhawks. Stone (16.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg) is the top scorer on the squad and has picked up four double-doubles. Stone is a more versatile player as he can score from a variety of places on the floor. Johnson (12.5 ppg, 10.0) is more of a back-to-the basket type player and has put in 57.3 percent of his field goal attempts. Johnson has racked up six double-doubles. In the backcourt, Corey Wilford (14.3 ppg) is the top option, while Lucas Nutt (5.2 ppg, 4.5 apg) is the top distributor.
UMKC gave Iowa State a run in the first half before falling off in the second frame. The Kangaroos trailed by just a 30-29 margin at intermission but allowed the Cyclones to hit 66.7 percent of their shots, including 8-of-12 from 3-point range, in the second half to coast to the double-digit victory. Estan Tyler scored 17 points, collected five rebounds and dished out four assists in the loss for UMKC.
The returns have been less than kind for UMKC which is suffering from a -10.2 scoring margin. The Kangaroos don't score particularly well (63.3 ppg) by shooting at just a 42.4 percent rate. On defense the Kangaroos don't produce enough pressure and allow teams to put in 73.5 points per game. UMKC also struggles on the boards (31.8 rpg) but has managed to keep just a -1.1 differential in that category. Turnovers have hurt the UMKC cause as the Kangaroos have coughed the ball up 15.8 times per game. Tyler (10.4 ppg) is the only player on the roster scoring in double figures, while also leading the team in assists (3.3 pg). Tyler has scored in double figures in three of the last four games but has also turned the ball over 10 times during that stretch. The rest of the scoring load is balanced among six different players scoring at least five points per game. Fred Chatmon (7.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg) is the only player averaging more than four rebounds a game.
There is a noted lack of frontcourt depth for UMKC. That is a troubling prospect against SE Missouri State. Led by Stone and Johnson, the Redhawks will bully the Kangaroos in the paint to secure a road victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: SE Missouri State 71, UMKC 64
12/22 10:35:50 ET