Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams will be on the road this week, each with crucial road games as Southern Conference play gets into full gear.
The guys will venture to Boone on Saturday to battle the hated Mountaineers of Appalachian State. ASU (4-14, 1-4) has had little success this season, and will be in a period of transition as first-year head coach Houston Fancher has not been able to find a winning formula for the Mountaineers yet this season.
App State is also carrying the burden of four straight Southern Conference losses. These include trouncings of 16 and 18 points at the hands of UNC-Greensboro and the College of Charleston, respectively. Even worse for the Mountaineers, their putrid offense has only scored 63.6 points a game for the season, standing dead last in the SoCon.
The men’s squad will next visit Statesboro, Georgia to take on Georgia Southern. Though the Eagles (6-10, 2-3) began the season slowly, losing ten of their initial 14 contests. They have picked up their play, however, to win their last two Southern Conference games, victories of 84-70 against Davidson and an 83-72 triumph at Furman.
In order to beat the Eagles, the Cats will have to shut down sophomore guard Julius Jenkins, who is averaging 17.7 points a game to lead the Eagles, including a career-high 33 in his last contest against Furman. Western will also have to concentrate on containing junior forward Kashien Latham, the team’s second leading scorer and leading rebounder with 14.0 points and 8.7 boards per contest.
As for the Lady Cats, their lone contest this week will be a visit to Charleston to take on the College of Charleston. The Lady Cougars (9-7, 5-2) stand alone in third place in the Southern Conference. This figure may be misleading, however, as they dropped their last contest 84-70 to Appalachian State, the Lady Mountaineers only conference win of the season.
The Lady Cats hope to lick their wounds this week, as they have dropped their last four conference match-ups and now stand in eighth place in the Southern Conference, just two spots from the cellar. In order to win, the Lady Catamounts will have to rely on a big game from junior forward/center Laura Echols, who is the team’s leading scorer (17.3 points/game) and rebounder (6.7 rebounds/game).