Last Updated: 2017-03-06
The No.5-seeded Savannah State Tigers challenge the No.4-seeded Bethune-Cookman Wildcats in the second round of the MEAC tournament at Norfolk Scope Arena. The game gets underway at 8:30 pm ET on Thursday, Mar. 10.
The Wildcats were beaten by South Carolina State 85-72 in their last game. Despite the loss, Mario Moody earned his sixth double-double this season with 14 points and 12 rebounds. The Tigers, meanwhile, are coming off a 63-58 win against Delaware State in the 1. Christopher Martin shot 7-for-13 and led in scoring with 21 points.
Moody has taken his game to another level over the last five games for the Wildcats. During that stretch, he has averaged 16.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.4 steals, 2.4 blocks, and 1.4 three-pointers.
Points could be at a premium in this matchup between two of the nation’s best defenses. Bethune-Cookman ranks 26th in the nation in defensive efficiency (106.2), while Savannah State is 11th (99.0). Also, the Tigers commit the 29th-fewest errors in the nation (TO% of 22.1%), while the ball-hawking defense of the Wildcats causes the 15th-most (opponents’ TO% of 19.2%).
This is the second game of the year between these two teams, with the Wildcats winning the first matchup 62-59. Jordan Potts was a top performer in the victory with 21 points, three rebounds, three assists, and four three-pointers.
The Wildcats enter the game with records of 14-17 Straight Up (SU) and 1-2 Against The Spread (ATS). They have struggled ATS recently, going 0-1. Bethune-Cookman’s defense can be considered one of the best in the country. The Wildcats allow a .435 opponent field-goal percentage, one of the lowest shooting rates in the country.
On the other side, Savannah State has a SU record of 15-14 and an ATS record of 1-3. The Savannah State defense has been a problem for competitors, allowing only .434 shooting from the field to its opponents.
Bethune-Cookman beat Savannah State in their most recent meeting this season, but Savannah State still leads the head-to-head record over their most recent games, 6-4 SU. However, with a 1-0 record, Bethune-Cookman has the advantage ATS. Savannah State held the edge in field goals, rebounds, and three-pointers once, while Bethune-Cookman was never able to do so in their most recent five games.
For updated lines, check out BTB’s College Basketball Odds.
Predictions: SU Winner – B-C, ATS Winner – B-C
The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats hold a solid 10-6 SU record in matchups against Mid-Eastern Conference rivals, while the Savannah State Tigers currently sit at 10-7 in these games.
The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats have a defensive rating of 106.2 (ranked 26th), while the Savannah State Tigers have an offensive rating of 92.7 (ranked 340th).
Savannah State has an average field goal percentage of 40.2%. Bethune-Cookman is an abysmal 4-15 when opponents have a similar or higher field goal percentage.
The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats and the Savannah State Tigers both rank higher in average effective field goal percentage when compared to their field goal percentages. Bethune-Cookman is 280th and 257th in the nation for FG% and eFG% respectively, while Savannah State is 324th and 314th in these categories.
Bethune-Cookman, the third-ranked team in blocked shots, records an average of 6.0 per game. Savannah State ranks lower at 259th with 2.7.
The Savannah State Tigers average 6.2 steals per game. When giving up 6 or more steals, the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats have a poor record (5-8) this season.