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Around The SBC:   Week of 12-05-08


Upset City

Rick Petino and company found no offensive prowess against the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky (4-2) last Sunday, as WKU handily defeated the #3 Cardinals  68-54 in Nashville.  This game was pegged as a major RPI booster for both the Sun Belt and Western Kentucky, and the Hilltoppers put the peddle to the metal on defense to hold a stunned Cardinal squad to a mere 26.8% FG shooting for the contest.  The win is even more impressive given the roster changes that WKU had to work through in the off season, and marks the first win for WKU against an opponent ranked within the the top three since they knocked of Indiana back on December 28, 1967. 

Petino chalked up the loss to poor practice, but gave the Hilltoppers much deserved credit for their performance:  "Unfortunately for us, we had the worst week of practice that I've experienced as a head coach.  You don't like to learn your lessons from losing, but the way we practiced, we didn't deserve to win.  You have to give Western Kentucky credit, because they did great.  They did a good job on the low post." said Petino.

"The swagger that they had told me that they didn't think they had to come out and compete and that they thought they were better than us", said WKU guard AJ Slaughter.


UALR Wins Battle of Pre-Season Favorites

Our SBC preseason favorite Arkansas Little-Rock is off to a hot start (5-1), and recently celebrated a quality out of conference win against pre-season Missouri Valley Conference favorite Creighton.  The Trojans are proving to be a well rounded squad with four players averaging double figures offensively.  Sophomore guard Matt Mouzy is pacing the Trojans with a team high 16.6 PPG, and .462 3PT% respectively.  Keep an eye on him as the season progresses.


Other League Action of note


Florida International (4-4) fell to perrinial power UCLA 89-64 in a lop-sided affair.  The Bruins went on a 26-1 run in the first half, and that was too much for the Panthers to overcome.  Injuries have plagued FIU since pre-season began.  As of late add Russell Hicks (stress fracture), pre-season all SBC pick, and Freddy Aspirilla (agrivated achilles) to the list of the Panthers woes.  Just prior the the loss, FIU was upset at home by DII West Georgia 57-54.

Florida Atlantic (3-5) dropped consecutive contests to Davidson and James Madison to finish their Pre-Season NIT stint at 1-3.  The Owls are winless away, and from home and have played a conference high five road games thus far.

Middle Tennessee (2-3) played gracious host to in state foe Tennessee, but fell 76-66 in what was a close game until the end in Murfreesboro.  UT went on multiple runs run to extend their lead, but MTSU would pull to within 6 twice with under 6 minutes to play.  "Middle Tennessee is a good team. This was anybody's game.", said UT's head man Bruse Pearl.

South Alabama (5-3) took on its former head coach, John Pelphrey, facing the Razorbacks of Arkansas.  Fans enjoyed a photo finish, but it was a tough to watch for the Jaguars.  Down one with 2.9 seconds left to play,  Stefan Welsh hit the game winning three pointer for the Razorbacks.  Final score 79-77.


ASU moved to 5-1 on the year with a victory over Ball State in Muncie, IN.  Forward Eric McKinney had career highs in points (20) and rebounds (16) for the RedWolves.  "Tonight's game was the best Eric McKinney has played," said ASU head coach John Brady.

Louisiana Lafayette (2-3) picked up it's first win of the season by upending a pesky Oral Roberts in OT 79-75 at the Cajundome.

North Texas (5-2) out rebounded Big 12 opponent Oklahoma State 57-43, but fell to the Cowboys at the hands of cold second half shooting 100-88.


On the Horizon

Conference play is set to begin officially Thursday, December 11 at 7:00PM when MTSU plays host to Troy in Murfreesboro.  In the meantime, here is some of what is on tap for the SBC:

Sat, Dec 06





Auburn, Ala.

  1:00 pm

Sat, Dec 06



 Western Kentucky


New Orleans, La.

  2:00 pm

Sat, Dec 06





Tuscaloosa, Ala.

  6:00 pm

Sat, Dec 06

 New Orleans


 Ole Miss


New Orleans, La.

  7:00 pm

Sat, Dec 06

 North Texas


 New Mexico State


Denton, Texas

  7:00 pm

Sat, Dec 06



 Florida International


Buffalo, N.Y.


Mon, Dec 08

 Oral Roberts




Tulsa, Okla.

  7:05 pm



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