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Toledo (12-14) at Sam Houston State (11-15)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 18th, 3:00 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Johnson Coliseum (6,100) -- Huntsville, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: Toledo 6-7, Sam Houston State 8-4. Away Record: Toledo 4-6, Sam Houston State 3-9. Neutral Record: Toledo 2-1, Sam Houston State 0-2. Conference Record: Toledo 4-8, Sam Houston State 5-7. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAMES NOTES: The Mid-American Conference and the Southland Conference will face off when the Toledo Rockets travel to Johnson Coliseum for a BracketBuster matchup with Sam Houston State.

This will be the first ever meeting between these two schools although Toledo has already notched a win against Southland competition this season when the Rockets downed Texas State 94-91 in their season opener.

Toledo has won two of the last three games after a three-game losing streak earlier in the month. The small spurt of success still leaves the Rockets with a 4-8 record in conference play and a 12-14 mark overall. Toledo will play host in three of its final four matchups beginning with a home game against Central Michigan on Tuesday.

Sam Houston State has won three of its last four games after a four-game losing streak which leaves the Bearkats with unimpressive records of 5-7 in the Southland and 11-15 overall. Sam Houston State will be on the road in its next game when it faces Northwestern State.

Toledo played well defensively to capture a 63-55 road victory over Ball State on Wednesday. Both teams struggled in the opening period with the Rockets leading just 22-21 going into the break. In the game Toledo shot 52.8 percent from the floor including 12-of-17 from beyond the arc while holding the Cardinals to just 30.8 percent shooting overall.

The MAC has been a very good scoring conference this season and Toledo can count itself among the upper portion in that category as the Rockets pour in 70.4 points per game, which is fourth in the conference. Toledo has faltered due to inconsistent defense that allow 67.2 points per game to its opponents. A large boost to the team's solid offensive numbers is the play of sophomore guard Rian Pearson. Pearson has been the leading scorer this season as well as its best rebounder putting in 16.7 points and bringing down 8.0 rebounds per game. Pearson was limited in the win over Ball State however scoring just six points which ended a seven game streak in double figures for him. Guards Julius Brown (11.5 ppg, 4.9 apg) and Dominique Buckley (10.2 ppg) are the other Rockets averaging in double figures for a team that relies heavily on the production of its backcourt.

Sam Houston State didn't really take control until the second half in its win over Central Arkansas on Wednesday but outscored the Bears 42-30 in the second period on its way to a 76-59 victory. The Bearkats were dominant inside, outrebounding the Bears 49-32 and outscoring Central Arkansas 38-16 in the paint.

The 76 points the Bearkats scored in the win was a leap for them as Sam Houston State is scoring only 60.1 points per game while keeping its opponents close in surrendering an even 61.0. Forward Steven Werner (11.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and Marcus James (BC-AEB;LINEUP-FRESNOST-CSNORTHRDG

Probable Starting Lineup: Fresno State at Cal State-Northridge



(Saturday, February 18th)

Fresno State Cal State-Northridge F Jerry Brown F Stephen Maxwell G Tyler Johnson F Stephen Hicks G Jonathan Wills F John Hayward-Mayhew G Kevin Olekaibe G Josh Greene G Steven Shepp G Vinnie McGhee

02/18 10:41:03 ET

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