SoCon foes will clash when the Citadel Bulldogs (5-7) square off against the Western Carolina Catamounts (4-8) at McAlister Field House. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 30, 2017.
Western Carolina Catamounts vs. Citadel Bulldogs ATS Preview
In the Catamounts last game, they were beaten by the High Point Panthers, 72-61. Mike Amius had a solid performance for Western Carolina, leading the team in scoring with 13 points on 4-for-6 shooting. High Point did a great job of converting from the free throw line (19-25; 76.0 percent). Western Carolina, on the other hand, had a turnover percentage of 11.8 (better than their season average of 18.8).
The Bulldogs are hoping for a better outcome after their 94-65 loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes in their last game. With 11 points and six rebounds, Zane Najdawi put together a good outing for Citadel. Ohio State’s effective field goal percentage was their biggest advantage over Citadel. The Buckeyes had a rate of 0.588 (above their season average of 0.554), while the Bulldogs posted a mark of 0.415 (below their season average of 0.508).
This contest should be a showdown of conflicting paces. Citadel prefers a fast-paced style of play (first in possessions per game), while Western Carolina likes to grind-it-out (153rd in possessions per game). It could also be a mistake-prone game for the offense of the Catamounts, which ranks 290th in ball protection (turnover percentage of 21.2 percent). They’ll be going up against the stingy defense of the Bulldogs, which forces the 19th-most turnovers in the nation (24.4 percent).
Deriece Parks has really been playing well over the last five games for Western Carolina, averaging 15.6 points, 3.4 assists and 1.8 steals per game.
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams, after the Catamounts won two out of three contests last season. In the most recent matchup, Citadel won 78-72. Citadel did a great job of making free throws (18-20; 90.0 percent). Western Carolina, on the other hand, had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (42.6 vs. 23.3).
Western Carolina Catamounts at Citadel Bulldogs Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Citadel, ATS Winner – Citadel, O/U – Over
- The Bulldogs average 11.6 steals per game, which ranks second in the NCAA. The Catamounts rank 160th in steals allowed per game (7.8).
- Citadel ranks 157th in blocks per game (2.8) while Western Carolina ranks 169th in blocks allowed per game (5.4).
- Citadel averages 17.8 assists per game, which ranks 28th in the NCAA. Western Carolina ranks 226th in assists allowed per game (16.8).
- The Catamounts rank 83rd in three pointers allowed per game (20.4) while the Bulldogs rank 254th (28.5).
- Citadel ranks 87th in rebounds per game (37.5) while Western Carolina ranks 250th in rebounds allowed per game (39.5).
- The Bulldogs average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 3.8, up from 2.8 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Catamounts have scored an average of 66.0 points per game (0.8 below their season average) and allowed an average of 77.6 points per game (3.2 below their season average).