Appalachian State (8-19) at Samford (11-18)

02/27/2014 7:31 AM

02/27/2014 8:02 AM

GAME NOTES: Two squads struggling to get back in the win column do battle in Birmingham on Thursday night, as the Appalachian State Mountaineers take on the Samford Bulldogs in a Southern Conference tilt at the Pete Hanna Center.

Appalachian State has lost three straight, including a 68-53 decision at Furman last Saturday. They are currently in ninth place in the SoCon.

Samford has come up winless in its last three bouts. The Bulldogs fell to The Citadel 81-71 in Charleston last Saturday, leaving them in eighth place in the conference standings.

Appalachian State leads the all-time series by a count of 7-4. The Mountaineers have been victorious in the last two meetings, including a 74-68 win exactly two weeks ago in Boone, North Carolina

In the loss to Furman, Tommy Spagnolo recorded a double-double for the Mountaineers, as he tallied a game-high 16 points and cleared 11 boards, five of those at the offensive end. Tab Hamilton and Jay Canty accounted for 12 and 10 points, respectively, while Michael Obacha pulled down 11 rebounds but was held scoreless

The leading scorer for the Bulldogs is Hamilton, who is averaging 13.2 ppg. Canty is next with 12.3 ppg in just nine games. Mike Neal is putting up 10.1 ppg for Appalachian State, which averages 69.3 ppg while giving up 72.7 ppg. Obacha is pulling down a team-best 8.7 rpg.

Isaiah Williams netted 24 points and Tim Williams tacked on 20 for Samford in the recent loss to The Citadel, which hit an even 50 percent of its shots in the first half, including 6-of-14 from 3-point range. Samford could not keep up, netting just 34.6 percent from the field in the opening period as it trailed 39-24 at the break. Although they got as close as five in the second, the Bulldogs could not complete the comeback

On a team that is generating 70.8 ppg, the leading scorer for Samford is Tim Williams with his 17.3 ppg, thanks to an impressive 60.7 percent shooting from the floor. Smart enough to know that his strength lies in staying close to the basket, Tim Williams also leads the squad with 7.3 rpg. Isaiah Williams checks in with 12.8 ppg, followed by Raijon Kelly with 10.7 ppg as the pair has combined to hand out 164 assists.

The Bulldogs seem to have a few more offensive options, so expect the home team to end their losing ways.

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