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Appalachian St253156
Samford294170
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70


Appalachian State (9-20) vs. Samford (12-19)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Friday, March 7, 11 a.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: U.S. Cellular Center (7,654) -- Asheville, North Carolina. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: ASU 7-7, Samford 10-4. Away Record: ASU 2-13, Samford 2-15. Neutral Record: ASU 0-0, Samford 0-0. Conference Record: ASU 5-11, Samford 6-10. Series Record: Appalachian State leads, 8-4.

GAME NOTES: In the first game of the 2014 Southern Conference Tournament, the eighth-seeded Samford Bulldogs will contend with the ninth-seeded Appalachian State Mountaineers at U.S. Cellular Center.

Appalachian State swept the season series from Samford by posting a 74-68 victory on Feb. 13 and a 63-57 triumph on Feb. 27. The Mountaineers have won three straight against the Bulldogs overall, and lead the all-time series, 8-4. The winner of this bout will advance to face top-seeded Davidson in Saturday's second round.

The Mountaineers did not have a strong finish to the regular season, with losses in four of their final five game. However, the lone victory in that stretch came against Samford. Appalachian State owns a 9-20 overall record, meaning its season will continue only as long as they remain alive in this tournament.

The same could be said for Samford, which is just 12-19 overall, including a 6-10 mark against the rest of the SoCon. The Bulldogs did win their regular- season finale last Saturday, posting a 93-86 victory over Western Carolina. However, they had lost four straight prior to that outcome.

In their final game of the regular season, the Mountaineers were routed by second-seeded Chattanooga, 63-44. Michale Obacha scored 11 points as the only player to reach double figures for Appalachian State, which had only four field goals after halftime, while shooting a mere 30.6 percent for the game.

Tommy Spagnolo (8.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg) is a player to watch in this contest, as he played some of his best basketball of the season against Samford. He tallied a pair of double-doubles in the two outings, averaging 20 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Tab Hamilton (12.8 ppg) is accustomed to being the primary option, however, as the only eligible player on the roster to average in double figures. Jay Canty (12.3 ppg) and Mike Neal (10.1 ppg) were each suspended for disciplinary reasons at the end of February. Hamilton will need to recover from his 3-of-11 shooting effort against Chattanooga to be effective in this one.

Tim Williams finished with a career-high 32 points on 10-of-11 shooting to lead Samford over Western Carolina last weekend. The Bulldogs shot an incredible 59.6 percent from the floor and also knocked down 33-of-39 attempts at the free-throw line.

Although they are rarely that productive on offense, Samford has been one of the more efficient shooting teams in the SoCon this season, ranking second in field goal percentage (.476). They actually lead the league in assists (13.9 apg), but let up 77 ppg on 46.6 percent shooting at the other end. Williams (17.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg) is a potent scorer and effective rebounder. Williams leads the SoCon in field goal percentage (.609) and also blocks 1.5 shots per game. Isaiah Williams (12.4 ppg) and Raijon Kelly (10.4 ppg) also figure in the mix.

Even if Spagnolo continues his dominance against Samford, the Mountaineers are going to have a tough time pulling out a win down two key contributors. Expect Williams and the fully-stocked Bulldogs to advance.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Samford 68, Appalachian State 64

03/07 10:32:57 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
2nd
SFG 1
KAN 0
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
 
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
 
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
 
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
 
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
 
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
 
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
 
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
 
4th
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
 
3rd
WASU 16
ARZ 45
 
Half
CLEM 3
SYR 6
 
Half
LAMON 13
TXST 0
 
Half
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 17
 
Half
COLST 24
WYO 3
 
2nd
LSU 0
MISS 7
 
2nd
TENN 0
ALA 20
 
2nd
AUB 14
SCAR 14
 
1st
PSU 0
OSU 7
 
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
2nd
TOR 0
BOS 1
 
2nd
NYI 4
DAL 4
 
2nd
PHI 1
DET 1
 
2nd
OTT 1
NJD 1
 
2nd
MON 1
NYR 1
 
1st
STL 1
CHI 1
 
1st
NAS 0
PIT 1
 
1st
MIN 3
TAM 1
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14