Lancers remain unbeaten in MWL play with gritty win over Crater The Register-Guard
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, NY – The Purple Eagles will begin a stretch of three road games in five days on Tuesday, Jan. 18 with a rematch aginst Rider at 7:00 p.m. from Alumni Gymnasium in Lawrenceville, NJ. Niagara will then travel to Monmouth (Thursday, Jan. 20) and Marist (Saturday, Jan. 22) for a pair of 7:00 p.m. contests.
Last Time Out:
• Niagara fell to Rider on Sunday, Jan. 15, by the final score of 92-70.
• Kyra Grimshaw scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the loss.
• Angel Parker added 18 points, five assists, and four steals.
• Niagara took a season-high 79 shots, making 38 for a 38.0 percent mark from the field.
• The Purple Eagles forced 23 turnovers and have now forced 20 or more turnovers in 12 of 13 games this season.
• Saturday marked the fifth time this season that the Purple Eagles registered 15 or more steals in a game.
• Niagara leads the MAAC in nine different statistical categories, including points (70.9), assists (13.8), offensive rebounds (16.8), forced turnovers (25.23), and steals per game (13.3).
• On the season, Niagara is shooting 37.0 percent from the field, 25.1 percent from 3-point land, and 69.3 percent from the free-throw line.
• Niagara currently leads the MAAC in free throws made (187) and free throw attempts (270).
• The Purple Eagles are led by junior Angel Parker, who averages 15.7 points, 5.6 assists, and an NCAA leading 4.5 steals per contest.
• In the last five games, Kyra Grimshaw has averaged 13.2 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. The senior scored a career-high 23 points against Canisius (Jan. 9) and 20 points at home against Rider (Jan. 15).
• Maddy Yelle has been the Purple Eagles’ most consistent scorer as the senior leads the MAAC with a 55.8 percent clip from the floor. The Geneva, Ill. native, has made 53-of-95 shots this season.
• Niagara’s leading rebounder is Aaliyah Parker, with 5.6 boards per contest. The younger of the two Parker sisters has two games with 10-plus rebounds and seven with at least five.
• Olivia Mason is one of the Purple and White’s most consistent contributors this season. The forward is currently averaging 5.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest.
• Ally Haar leads the team with 17 made 3-pointers and is currently shooting 21.0 percent from 3-point land. Grimshaw leads the Purple Eagles with a 45.0 percent mark from deep.
• Lore Porter is playing a team-high 20.0 minutes off the bench, averaging 4.7 points per game.
• Sydney Faulcon has started all 12 games the Purple and White, scoring 5.9 points and grabbing 4.3 caroms per contest.
Series History vs. Rider
• Saturday’s loss to Rider evened the all-time series between the Purple Eagles and Broncs at 27-27.
• Rider is 8-2 over NU in the last 10 meetings.
• The Broncs own a 16-10 advantage over Niagara at Alumni Gymnasium.
Series History vs. Monmouth
• Niagara has a 7-8 record all-time against Monmouth dating back to 2014.
• Thursday will mark the first meeting between the two teams since Feb. 20, 2020, or 697 days.
• Niagara swept the 2019-20 season series with a 62-61 win at home and a 73-70 win on the road.
Series History vs. Marist
• Marist leads the all-time series with Niagara, 37-15.
• The last win for the Purple Eagles came on Feb. 24, 2018, in Poughkeepsie by the final score of 68-61.
• Niagara is 2-8 in the last 10 meetings with the Red Foxes.
• Following the three-game road trip, Niagara will return to Monteagle Ridge to take on Siena (Jan. 27) and Quinnipiac (Jan. 29) to close out the month.
• The game with the Saints will tip-off at 6:00 p.m. Thursday, followed by a 1:00 p.m. tip with the Bobcats on Saturday from the Gallagher Center.
• For tickets, call (716) 286-TIXX (8499) or email [email protected]
Stay connected with Niagara Women’s Basketball on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Niagara Athletics all year long on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, purpleeagles.com, and the Niagara Purple Eagles app.
Lancers Open Big South Play At Radford
The Opening Tip
• After Longwood’s first two conference games were postponed due to COVID-19 in opposing programs, the Lancers will travel to Radford for their conference opener.
• Four of Longwood’s previous five scheduled games, at St. Francis-Brooklyn, at Maryland Eastern Shore, at Hampton and vs. High Point, were canceled or postponed due to COVID-19 protocols
within other programs.
• Due to the postponements, Longwood has played twice in the past three weeks.
• The Lancers hold an 8-5 record in non-conference play, their best non-conference record since going 10-5 in the 2018-19 season under head coach Griff Aldrich.
• Longwood is currently the third-highest ranked Big South team in the NCAA NET rankings. At No. 190, the Lancers trail only No. 162 Gardner-Webb and No. 184 UNC Asheville.
Last Time Out
• In their first game in two weeks, the Lancers knocked off some rust and blew past Pfeiffer University 109-69 as all 13 players that played scored.
• The win helped the Lancers move to 8-1 at home in Willett Hall as four players scored in double digits. The team scored more than 100 points for the first time since the 2018-19 season.
• Isaiah Wilkins poured in 21 points to lead the Lancers, while Zac Watson chipped in 16, his career high since joining Longwood. Justin Hill added 15 points, and DeShaun Wade added 12 more for a Longwood side that shot .605 from the floor.
• Longwood never trailed, racing out to a 25-3 lead in the opening six minutes behind a suffocating defense that has been one of the best units in the Big South.
By The Numbers
• Longwood has two of the Big South’s top passers in Jordan Perkins and Justin Hill. Perkins holds a 3.4 assist-to-turnover ratio (37/11), which would rank first in the league if he was over the minimum threshold of 3.0 assists per game, while Justin Hill (1.9, 51/29) sits in fifth. The Lancers are second in the Big South overall with a 1.26 assist-to-turnover ratio.
• Longwood has totaled more assists than turnovers in 10 of 13 games this season. The Lancers’ 12.6 turnovers per game rank as the fourth-fewest in the Big South, and the team leads the Big South in turnover margin (+3.15).
• Longwood’s bench is contributing 35.2 points per game, with 11.4 of those coming from Leslie Nkereuwem. Nkereuwem leads the Big South in scoring off the bench and would lead in field goal percentage, .654 (53-81), but he is just shy of the minimum threshold of shots made per game.
• The Lancers lead the Big South in scoring offense (80.3 points per game) and rank second in scoring defense (63.5 points allowed per game). Longwood is one of three Big South schools ranked among the league’s top five in both categories. Longwood leads the conference in scoring margin with an average of +16.8 points per game.
• Nate Lliteras and DeShaun Wade have both hit a three-pointer in 12 of 13 games this season.
• Longwood has excelled on its home court under fourth-year head coach Griff Aldrich, amassing a 34-17 record in Willett Hall during his tenure. That includes an 8-1 mark this season, an 8-5 record in 2020-21, a 8-6 record in 2019-20 and a 10-5 mark in 2018-19.
• Only Iowa, Georgetown, Abilene Christian and Pfeiffer have scored more than 65 points against Longwood. The Lancers have held five teams to 55 points or fewer.
• The Lancers’ +9.8 rebounding margin ranks 11th nationally, while their 14.4 offensive rebounds per game rank sixth in the nation.
“This has been a hard couple of weeks for these guys, expecting to play on the 30th and then not playing, expecting to play on the fifth, a conference game, and you don’t have that. There’s a lot of uncertainty, which is atypical for what these guys go through. They come to play the games. As much as they love me and practice, they really enjoy the games.”
— Longwood head coach Griff Aldrich following the win over Pfeiffer after the schedule had changed on an almost daily basis since the holidays
• Longwood and Radford meet for the 35th time, as the pair have battled since the late 1970s as Commonwealth rivals.
• Radford has won the last 10 matchups between the two teams, with Longwood’s last win coming in 2016 in a 92-81 win on Feb. 27.
• The two sides played a pair of tight games in 2020-21, with Radford winning the season series on back-to-back days. The Highlanders won the first game 67-66 in a heartbreaker for the Lancers before taking down Longwood 62-53 in the second game of the series a day later.
PORTLAND STATE VIKINGS (3-8, 1-2) at SACRAMENTO STATE HORNETS (5-6, 1-3)
PORTLAND STATE VIKINGS (3-8, 1-2) at SOUTHERN UTAH THUNDERBIRDS (9-5, 3-1)
Monday, January 17, 2022, 6 p.m. PT • America First Event Center (4,800), Cedar City, UT
Live Stream: ESPN+
Live Stats: https://suutbirds.com/sidearmstats/mbball/summary
THE OPENING TIP
After a more than two-week hiatus from competition, Portland State returns to play this Saturday at Sacramento State. Following 16 days with no games, the Vikings will now compete 10 times in 22 days.
Such is the circumstance brought about by a global pandemic that at first impacted a Viking opponent, then the Vikings themselves. PSU had three games (Jan. 1 vs. Idaho, Jan. 6 at Southern Utah and Jan. 10 vs. Northern Colorado) postponed as a result of COVID-19 protocols.
Now mostly healthy once again, though still getting back into a routine, Portland State (3-8, 1-2) will take on the Hornets (5-6, 1-3) Saturday at 2 p.m. in Sacramento. The Vikings then travel for a makeup game at Southern Utah (9-5, 3-1) on Jan. 17. PSU will take a 1-5 road record, 1-1 in the Big Sky, with them.
The break in the middle of the season schedule might provide a nice reset for the Viking team. PSU had lost five in a row before stopping play. To get off their losing streak, the Vikings will need to improve on the .366 field goal shooting, .273 three-point shooting and 62.6 points per game over the five-game losing streak.
Defense has been a different matter. Through 11 games, the Vikings have been a talented defensive group, leading the Big Sky in steals (9.5), turnovers forced (16.2), blocked shots (3.7) and field percentage defense (.405), and rank second in points allowed (67.1). So, just a moderate improvement on the offensive end would seem to lead to wins.
Going into this week’s games, SR F James Jean-Marie (12.9 ppg) and JR G Marlon Ruffin (12.8 ppg) have been PSU’s top offensive threats, while SR F Khalid Thomas (9.2 ppg) comes off a 20-point game in his last outing.
Jean-Marie also averages 9.8 rebounds to rank second in the Big Sky, while Thomas is second with 1.8 steals per game. FR G Paris Dawson currently leads the Big Sky in free throw shooting (28-31, .903).
Sacramento State comes off a quality road win at Northern Colorado last Saturday (85-71). The Hornets are 2-3 in home games, but lost both of their previous Big Sky home games (Montana and Montana State).
The Hornets follow the lead of senior forward Bryce Fowler, who averages 17.5 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. He scored 30 in the win at Northern Colorado.
Portland State did not meet Sacramento State last season as the games were canceled due to COVID-19 complications. Saturday’s game is a 2 p.m. tip.
Southern Utah is 5-1 at home this season. The Thunderbirds have not played since Jan. 1. They have games at Montana State and Montana this week prior to facing the Vikings on Jan. 17. Southern Utah is the top scoring (78.4) and rebounding (+5.4 margin) team in the Big Sky Conference.
The Thunderbirds swept the season series over PSU last year on the way to winning the Big Sky regular season title. Next Monday’s game is a 6 p.m. PT contest.
Both road games can be seen on ESPN+.
Portland State returns home on Jan. 20 game against Montana. The contest is followed by three more at home against Montana State (Jan. 22), Idaho (Jan. 24) and Southern Utah (Jan. 27). All games tip off at 7 p.m. at Viking Pavilion and can be seen on ESPN+.
Portland State had three games changed after postponements due to COVID-19 protocols. The Big Sky Conference announced the makeup dates on Jan. 7.
Monday, January 17 – Portland State at Southern Utah (previously Jan. 6)
Monday, January 24 – Idaho at Portland State (previously Jan. 1)
Monday, January 31 – Northern Colorado at Portland State (previously Jan. 10)
WHO IS HOT
- SR F Khalid Thomas scored 20 points with a career-high 12 rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots against Eastern Washington… Thomas ranks ninth in the Big Sky in rebounding (6.4) and second in steals (1.8).
- SO F Jacob Eyman matched his career high with 11 points (5-8 FG, 1-3 FT) against Eastern Washington… SO F Trey Wood also matched his career high with seven points (3-4 FG, 1-2 3-pt).
- SR F James Jean-Marie has six double-doubles this season. He ranks second in the Big Sky with 9.8 rebounds per game and is 20th in the nation. He leads the Big Sky in offensive rebounds per game (4.3) and ranks third in the nation.
- FR G Paris Dawson is shooting .903 at the free throw line to lead the Big Sky Conference.
- DEFENSE TRAVELS: Head Coach Jase Coburn likes to say, “defense travels” meaning regardless of where you play, or how much you score, you can always have a consistent defensive effort. The Vikings have had that in 2021-22, leading the Big Sky Conference steals (9.5), turnovers forced (16.2), offensive rebounds (13.0), field goal percentage defense (.405) and blocked shots (3.7). They rank second in points allowed (67.1)… the Vikings are currently 24th in the nation in offensive rebounds and 21st in the nation in steals per game.
PORTLANDSTATE vs. SACRAMENTO STATE GAME NOTES:
THE SERIES: Portland State leads the all-time series, 32-20, and the Big Sky Conference series, 31-19… the teams did not meet last season due to COVID-19 cancelations… the teams split the season series in 2019-20 with each winning on their home court… Sacramento State leads the Big Sky series 14-10 in Sacramento.
LAST SEASON: Games canceled.
COACHES: Vikings Coach Jase Coburn (Arizona State, 2006) is in his first season as Head Coach. He has spent eight previous seasons on the Park Blocks as an Assistant and Associate Head Coach… the Hornets are led by Interim Head Coach Brandon Laird (UC Davis, 2001) in his first season. He has spent the previous nine seasons as an assistant in the program.
SCOUTING SACRAMENTO STATE
- Sacramento State joined the Big Sky Conference the same season as Portland State, 1996-97. The Hornets have never won a Big Sky title.
- The Hornets were 8-12 last season, 5-9 and ninth in the Big Sky Conference. Two starters and seven letterwinners return from that team.
- Sacramento State is 5-6 this season, 1-3 in the Big Sky Conference. The Hornets average 65.5 points per game and allow 69.5 points per game.
- Senior forward Bryce Fowler leads the team with 17.5 points per game. He also averages 5.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists while shooting .513 from the field.
- Junior guard Zach Chappell averages 10.3 points and 1.7 steals per game. Junior center Jonathan Komagum leads the team with 6.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots per game.
PORTLAND STATE vs. SOUTHERN UTAH GAME NOTES
THE SERIES: Portland State leads the all-time series, 11-6, and the Big Sky Conference series, 10-6… however, the Thunderbirds swept the season series in Portland last year… PSU is 4-3 all-time in games played in Cedar City, but have lost in their last two appearances there.
LAST SEASON: Mar. 4, 2021, SUU 68, PSU 58: Southern Utah used an 18-point mid-game run to take control of the contest… the dynamic duo of John Knight III and Tevian Jones combined for 47 of Southern Utah’s 68 points… the Vikings had it all going their way in the first half. PSU hit four early three-pointers and led 25-13 with 6:28 to play. James Scott had 12 points in the first 14 minutes to pace the Vikings. But they went cold, missing their next nine shots and sprinkling in four turnovers to close out the half… the Thunderbirds took advantage with a 16-0 run to lead 29-25 at halftime… Southern Utah extended the run to 18 points with the first basket of the second half. The Vikings managed to come back and tie the game at 35-35 with 14:41 to play. But a 23-9 run over the next eight minutes, sparked by Knight, put the T-Birds in control. Southern Utah had its largest lead at 58-44 with 7:07 remaining in the game… the Thunderbirds managed just 22-52 from the field (.423) against a solid PSU defense. But the Vikings shot only 21-67 for the game (.313). PSU had its second-lowest point total of the season… Scott scored 20 points for Portland State. He also had eight rebounds and three assists. Elijah Hardy came off the bench to score 15 points with four rebounds. Mar. 6, 2021, SUU 73, PSU 54: Portland State could not slow down a Southern Utah team with a Big Sky Conference title in its sights. The Thunderbirds shot well early and then cruised to a 73-54 win over the Vikings in the regular season finale. With the win, Southern Utah (12-2) captured the Big Sky regular season title and was the number-one seed heading into Big Sky Tournament… The backcourt of John Knight III and Dre Marin dominated the first half for Southern Utah, making 13-16 shots from the field, including three three-pointers, and had 15 and 14 points, respectively. The Thunderbirds were a scalding 16-24 from the field as a team, hitting 5-9 three-pointers, and 4-5 at the line to lead 41-25… Southern Utah broke away in the second half, pushing its lead over 20 on a handful of occasions. The largest advantage was 64-39 with 9:06 to play. At that point the T-Birds were shooting 71% from the field… PSU hit 20-55 from the field overall (.364) and only 6-15 at the line (.400)… James Scott scored a team-high 17 points for the Vikings. Paris Dawson scored 13 points, and Khalid Thomas added 11 points and five rebounds… Southern Utah finished at 27-45 from the field (.600) and committed only eight turnovers against the Vikings’ press. Knight scored a game-high 26 points on 11-13 from the field, with five assists, four rebounds and two steals. Marin added 19 points on 8-12 from the field.
COACHES: Vikings Coach Jase Coburn (Arizona State, 2006) is in his first season as Head Coach. He has spent eight previous seasons on the Park Blocks as an Assistant and Associate Head Coach… the Thunderbirds are led by Head Coach Todd Simon (Central Michigan, 2003) in his sixth season. He is 82-87 overall, 5-4 against the Vikings. Simon is 91-95 in seven years as a collegiate head coach.
SOUTHERN UTAH THUNDERBIRDS
- Southern Utah is located in Cedar City. SUU joined the Big Sky Conference in 2012-13. The Thunderbird program won its first Big Sky Conference regular season championsionship in 2020-21.
- The Thunderbirds were 20-4 last season, 12-2 and first place in the Big Sky Conference.
- This season, the Thunderbirds are 9-5 overall, 3-1 in the Big Sky. They average a Big Sky-best 78.4 points per game and allow 72.6 points. SUU also leads the Big Sky in rebounding margin (+5.4).
- Senior guard John Knight III averages 15.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.9 steals and shoots a Big Sky-leading .579 from the field.
- Senior guard Tevian Jones averages 13.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Senior forward Maizen Fausette leads the team with 8.6 rebounds per game while averaging 12.4 points. Senior guard Dre Marin is averaging 11.8 points per game.
Women’s Basketball | December 31
DeKALB, IL – The Northern Illinois University women’s basketball team opens Mid-American Conference play Saturday afternoon when the Huskies travel to take on the Central Michigan Chippewas. Tip-off is at 12 p.m. CT with the game being broadcast locally on WLBK 98.9 FM/1360 AM as well as ESPN3.
NIU (3-5) enters league play on the heels of a 103-71 loss at DePaul in its last game on Dec. 16. Junior forward A’Jah Davis (DeKalb, Ill./Montverde Academy [Fla.]) scored a career-high 26 points against the Blue Demons, with 22 points in the second half alone. She added 13 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. She was named MAC Player of the Week on Dec. 21 for her efforts in that game. Davis leads the conference in rebounding at 10.4 boards per game which puts her 20th in the country.
The Huskies are leading the MAC in free throw shooting so far this season at 77.3 percent, with Central Michigan second at 74.4 percent. NIU has made 22 of its last 25 free throw attempts over the last three games. Chelby Koker (Racine, Wis./Shoreland Lutheran) is tops among MAC players at the charity stripe, shooting 96.6 percent this season. She has made 26 of 27 free throws to put her third in the nation in free throw percentage.
Saturday’s game marks just the second time NIU will play on New Year’s Day in program history. NIU defeated Stetson 91-61 on Jan. 1, 1984 in a tournament in Miami, Fla. Central Michigan (2-8, 0-1 MAC) opened their conference slate Wednesday afternoon with a 92-75 loss at Buffalo. Molly Davis led the Chippewas with 23 points and 12 assists against the Bulls. Jahari Smith also had a double-double with 19 points and 17 rebounds. Davis leads the Chippewas with 17.1 points and 4.8 assists per game.
Following Saturday’s game, NIU returns to the Convocation Center to host Ball State on Wednesday, Jan. 5 at 6 p.m. Tickets are on sale at NIUHuskies.com/MyHuskies or by calling the NIU Athletics Ticket Office at 815-753-PACK (7225). Huskie Flex Plans are now available for the 2021-22 men’s and women’s basketball seasons. Purchase vouchers for $6 each and use them throughout the season to attend Huskie men’s and women’s basketball home games. Simply redeem vouchers for tickets prior to the game.
The North Dakota Fighting Hawks travel to Vermillion to face the South Dakota Coyotes on Dec. 29. Opening tip is scheduled for 7 p.m.on AM 740 The Fan with Jack Michaels on the call.
* North Dakota heads to the University of South Dakota with an overall record of 6-6 and a 0-1 conference record.
* The Fighting Hawks are 2-3 on the road this season.
* This game marks the first of two to be played in the state of South Dakota. UND will play South Dakota State on New Year’s Day.
* North Dakota currently leads in the series against South Dakota, 49-33.
* UND is currently averaging 68.8 points per game, and they are averaging 38.2 rebounds per game.
* Kacie Borowicz scored 25 points against North Dakota State. She currently leads the Fighting Hawks in points per game with 17.2.
* Olivia Lane finished in the double digits alongside Borowicz against NDSU with 13 points. She earned a double-double with her 11 rebounds.
* Melissa Leet had ten rebounds and three blocks against the Bison.
* South Dakota currently sits at a 9-4 record. The Coyotes are currently 2-0 for conference play.
* UND was ranked ninth in the Summit’s Preseason Coaches’ Poll. They currently sit
LAST TIME OUT
The University of North Dakota fell to North Dakota State, 61-67. The Fighting Hawks trailed early with a 4-0 initial run for the Bison. Starting the second quarter, the teams traded points, but Olivia Lane and Maggie Manson would score three points each to give UND their first lead of the game with 7:45 left in the second. Seconds later, Heaven Hamling scored back-to-back baskets to give the Bison a 26-23 lead, but Manson would tie it with her second three of the night in the middle of the quarter before NDSU would retake the lead. Kacie Borowicz scored a layup to tie the game again in the third. She then went on to score a jump shot, which gave UND a 35-33 lead early in the quarter. It became a back-and-forth battle as the teams tied three times before UND extended the lead to 45-42 with 2:42 left before the fourth quarter. The Bison continued to chip away and went on a 9-0 run to give them a 51-45 lead headed into the fourth. The Fighting Hawks were not able to push past the Bison in the fourth, which resulted in a 67-61 win for NDSU. Lane earned a double-double netting 13 points and securing 11 rebounds. Borowicz ended the evening with 25 points and seven rebounds. The Fighting Hawks finished the afternoon shooting 47.8 percent from inside the arch, 46.7 percent from the three, and 83.3 percent from the line. The Bison shot 40.6 percent from the field, 26.7 percent beyond the arch, and 70.0 percent from the line.
ALL-TIME WITH SOUTH DAKOTA
The University of North Dakota leads South Dakota in the series, 49-33. The last time that the two teams played each other was on Feb. 14, 2021. The Fighting Hawks fell 47-64 to the Coyotes at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
OLIVIA ON OFFENSE
Olivia Lane earned a double-double against the Bison on Dec. 22. She scored 13 points and secured 11 rebounds. During the game, Lane alongside Manson helped push the Fighting Hawks to their first lead in the second quarter. They each scored three points to try to push past the Bison. Lane currently sits at 12.5 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game. She has scored in the double digits in six of the eight games she has played in this season, and she has a scored a total of 100 points.
Kacie Borowicz leads the Fighting Hawks on offense this season. She averages 17.2 points per game and averages 33.0 minutes per game. Against the Bison, Borowicz netted 25 points while playing 40 minutes. From the free throw line, she has made 41-42 free throws this season. She reached a new single-game record for most made in a game at UND with her 20-20 against Montana State.
SCOUTING SOUTH DAKOTA
South Dakota enters the game with a 9-4 overall record and a 2-0 conference record. The Coyotes opened their season with a 71-73 loss against the University of Oklahoma. They then faced South Carolina who beat USD 72-41. Their first win came on the road against Drake, 61-46. The winning continued as the Coyotes hosted Briar Cliff at home, 83-35. The Coyotes suffered two losses to start the Paradise Jam tournament against Northwestern (57-73) and Texas A&M (44-58). They would win the final game of the tournament against Pitt in overtime, 72-61. USD continued their winning streak to end non-conference play against Wichita State (71-59), Bradley (62-39), Valparaiso (51-31), and Creighton (73-71). Their first conference game was against Oral Roberts, who fell to the Coyotes, 59-90. USD won their second conference game against Kansas City (67-57) to give them a 2-0 conference record.
Following Thursday evening’s game, the University of North Dakota travels to Brookings for a New Year’s Day match up against South Dakota State. That match-up will mark the first game of 2022 for the Fighting Hawks. The tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.
The Golden State Warriors defeated the Indiana Pacers 102-100 in Indianapolis on Monday night, and were scheduled to fly to New York City after the game for Tuesday’s game against the Knicks.
However, things did not go as planned with their flight out of Indianapolis after the game.
According to The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson and Anthony Slater (see tweet below), their plane had mechanical problems, and they had to stay the night in Indiana.
Slater later reported that the Warriors had been scheduled out of Indiana on at 10 A.M. on Tuesday morning (see tweet below).
According to Slater the plane left Indianapolis at 10:35 A.M (see tweet below).
Steph Curry hit five three-pointers and had 26 points in the game against the Pacers, and is just two three-pointers away from breaking the all-time record.
The Warriors come into the game with a 22-5 record, and have the most wins in the entire NBA.
As for the Knicks, they began their season 5-1 in the first six games, but are now just 12-15 through 27 games this season.
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The Sacramento Kings could get some much-needed help on the wing soon. According to Alvin Gentry, Harrison Barnes and Moe Harkless are on track to make their returns from injury on Wednesday.
“We’ll have to wait and see,” Gentry told reporters on Monday. “I think there’s a chance but it’s still questionable. Both of them went through practice and I thought they did a pretty good job. They didn’t go through the entire thing but I thought they looked pretty good. Obviously, we have to see the after effects of going through a practice.”
Even if Barnes and Harkless don’t play against the Magic on Wednesday, Gentry anticipates that they’ll travel with them to Orlando, where their four-game road trip will start. They’ll also play the Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors during the road trip.
Barnes has been sidelined for the five games due to a right foot sprain he suffered against the Portland Trail Blazers on Nov. 24. Prior to suffering his injury, Barnes hit a bit of a rough patch, but he’s still averaging 19 points per game on the season. The Kings will need everything he has to offer on offense if they want to get back into the play-in mix.
On defense, Harkless can ease some of the burden for his teammate, assuming his knee doesn’t bother him anymore. Per 100 possessions, the Kings have been 7.0 points better on defense with Harkless on the floor.
Ultimately, Barnes and Harkless’s returns won’t mean anything if the Kings don’t play with the same effort that has led to them upsetting teams at the top half of the Western Conference this season, but having bigger bodies on the wing will surely help them.
The Kings and Magic will tip-off at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. An update on Barnes and Harkless will given before then.
• Saint Joseph’s opens Big 5 play this Saturday as the Hawks travel to rival #6 Villanova.
• Saturday’s contest will be televised nationally on FS1.
• The Hawks are coming off a 79-57 victory over Binghamton on Wednesday.
• St. Joe’s 22-point win over the Bearcats is its largest margin of victory since a 91-61 decision against Saint Louis on February 8, 2019.
• Wednesday marked the third time this season four Hawks scored in double figures, as SJU previously accomplished it versus Mount St. Mary’s and Monmouth.
• Jordan Hall picked up his third double-double of the season as he finished with a game-high 15 points and 12 rebounds against Binghamton.
• Ejike Obinna went a perfect 5-of-5 from the field and 4-of-4 from the foul line for 14 points versus Binghamton.
• Over the past three games, Obinna has averaged 16.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per contest, while shooting 69 percent from the floor.
• Starting for the second consecutive game, Cameron Brown scored 13 points and had three rebounds and two steals.
• Jack Forrest finished with a season-high 11 points in a reserve role on Wednesday.
• The Hawks scored a season-best 44 points in the paint versus Binghamton.
• Taylor Funk had his streak of 24 consecutive games with 10 points or more snapped on Wednesday as he finished with seven points in the win.
• Saint Joseph’s enters Saturday’s Big 5 opener with a 128-116 all-time record in Big 5 play, and has captured 20 city series titles.
• With a pause in Big 5 play last year, the Hawks have gone 637 days between city series contests, with their last one coming against La Salle on March 7, 2020 at Hagan Arena.
• Saturday is the second time this season, and 188th time overall, that Saint Joseph’s has faced a nationally ranked opponent.
• The Hawks are 45-142 all-time versus ranked teams, with their last win coming on February 27, 2018 versus #17 Rhode Island, 78-48.
Series vs. Villanova: Villanova leads 53-25
First Meeting: 1920, Saint Joseph’s, 27-23
Last Meeting: 12/19/20, Villanova, 88-68
Coach Lange vs. Villanova: 0-4
SAINT JOSEPH’S VERSUS VILLANOVA
• The Hawks are looking to snap a nine game skid to the Wildcats that dates back to the 2012-13 season.
• Saint Joseph’s Head Coach Billy Lange, who served as associate head coach at Villanova from 2011-13, is 0-4 all-time versus the Wildcats.
• Lange originally joined Villanova’s staff as an assistant coach and coordinator of basketball operations for three seasons before taking the head job in Navy in 2004.
• Saint Joseph’s last win at Villanova came on February 2, 2004 (74-67).
• The Hawks are 2-14 in games played at Villanova.
FUNK CLIMBS ALL-TIME RANKINGS
Entering the season with 1,069 points to his name, Taylor Funk has started climbing Saint Joseph’s all-time scoring leader list rapidly as the Lancaster, Pennsylvania native enters Saturday with 1,191 career points, four points behind Shavar Newkirk in 38th place at 1,195 points, and 21 points shy of Mark Bass (1,205 points) in 37th place. Additionally, Funk is currently tied with Jameer Nelson for fifth all-time in career three-pointers (229), and just two shy of Marvin O’Connor’s mark of 231 for fourth place.
OBINNA OFF TO CAREER-BEST START
Despite being only seven games into the season, starting center Ejike Obinna has made an instant impact for the Hawks as he enters Saturday averaging a career-high 12.7 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. A three-year letterwinner at Vanderbilt, Obinna came to Hawk Hill as a graduate transfer having averaged 2.9 points and 3.0 rebounds per game for his career. Along with new highs in scoring and rebounding this year, Obinna also has collected the first two double-doubles of his career, earning them against Monmouth and #24 USC.
The Hawks open Big 5 play as they travel to #6 Villanova on Saturday. The game, set for a noon start, will be broadcast nationally on FS1.
Villanova will open-up the BIG EAST portion of its schedule on Friday, Dec. 3, with a road game at Providence. The Wildcats enter play with a 3-3 overall record, while the Friars are 3-4 on the season. Tip-off at Alumni Hall is set for 7 p.m.
The Wildcats lead the all-time series against Providence by a 52-27 count. Villanova has had the upper hand in the series of late. Entering play on Friday, Villanova has won 30 of the last 36 meetings against the Friars.
Of all the opponents Villanova has faced over the years, the Wildcats have played Providence more than any other team. Friday’s game between the schools will be the 80th all-time meeting. Villanova leads the series by a 52-27 margin. St. John’s ranks second as the team Villanova has played the most at 72 times.
It will be a homecoming affair for Villanova Associate Head Coach Joe Mullaney, Jr., when the Wildcats travel to Providence. Mullaney is a 1978 graduate of Providence where he was a member of the men’s basketball team and participated in two NCAA Tournaments and the NIT semifinals once. Wednesday’s game will be played at Mullaney Gymnasium in Alumni Hall. Mullaney Gymnasium is named after Mullaney’s father, Joe Mullaney Sr., who was a legendary men’s basketball coach at Providence. Mullaney Sr., coached the Friar men from 1955-69 and 1981-85 and totaled a career record of 319-164 (.660). Joe Mullaney Jr., was also the coach of the Providence women’s team from 1980-83 where he led the Friars to a 66-27 mark.
Friday night’s game at Providence will be the first of three straight road games for the Wildcats. Following the trip to Providence, Villanova will play at Creighton on Sunday, Dec. 5 and at James Madison on Dec. 9. After returning home to play Oregon State on Dec. 12, the Wildcats finish the stretch at La Salle on Dec. 21. Villanova is 2-1 in road contests this season.
Junior guard Brooke Mullin turned in the best game of her Wildcat career in Wednesday’s 65-60 win over Lehigh. In 32 minutes of action, Mullin scored a career-high 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including a 3-of-7 effort from three-point range and a 1-of-2 performance from the foul line. She also tallied five rebounds and a career-high five steals. She is currently averaging 7.2 points per game and is shooting 41.7 percent from three (10-of-24).
Freshman guard Lucy Olsen recorded her second 20-point game of her young career on Wednesday versus Lehigh with 22 points. She was 7-of-14 from the floor, 2-of-3 from long distance and 6-of-7 from the foul line. Olsen is one of four Wildcats averaging double figures at 10.2 points per game. She is shooting .431 from the field (22-of-51) and .500 from three-point range (9-of-18).