The Norfolk State Spartans (1-10) will try to put an end to a six-game road losing streak when they challenge the Eastern Kentucky Colonels (5-6) at McBrayer Arena. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. ET on Monday, December 18, 2017.
Norfolk State Spartans at Eastern Kentucky Colonels ATS Preview
The Spartans lost a tough one against the Niagara Purple Eagles in their last matchup, 85-82. With 17 points on 6-for-7 shooting, Derrik Jamerson Jr. was Norfolk State’s leading scorer. Niagara had a free throw rate of 0.389 (above their season average of 0.292). Norfolk State, on the other hand, held the Purple Eagles to an offensive rebounding percentage of 25.0 (below their season average of 30.6).
In the Colonels last game, they defeated the Charleston Southern Buccaneers, 70-65. Eastern Kentucky rallied around Zach Charles, who had 10 points and seven rebounds. Eastern Kentucky played a nearly flawless game. They had a phenomenal offensive rebounding percentage of 40.0 (above their season average of 30.3) and a free throw rate of 0.404 (above their season average of 0.266). For those same stats, Charleston Southern was 25.8 and 0.306, respectively.
This has potential to be a mistake-prone game for the offense of Eastern Kentucky. Eastern Kentucky ranks 193rd in the nation in ball protection (turnover percentage of 19.5 percent), while the ball-hawking defense of Norfolk State forces the 46th-most turnovers in the nation (23.0 percent).
Steven Whitley has been playing at a high level over the last five games for Norfolk State, averaging 13.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game.
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams. The Spartans won the only game played against each other last season, 87-80. The Spartans dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had an extraordinary free throw rate of 0.660 and a turnover percentage of 13.1. For those same stats, the Colonels had marks of 0.276 and 16.9, respectively.
Norfolk State Spartans at Eastern Kentucky Colonels Odds Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Eastern Kentucky, ATS Winner – Eastern Kentucky, O/U – Under
- The Spartans rank 124th in three pointers attempted per game (22.4) while the Colonels rank 140th in three pointers allowed per game (22.1).
- Eastern Kentucky averages 36.5 rebounds per game, which ranks 126th in the nation. Norfolk State ranks 140th in rebounds allowed per game (35.2).
- Norfolk State ranks 30th in steals allowed per game (5.1) while Eastern Kentucky ranks 177th (7.7).
- The Spartans average 13.5 assists per game, which ranks 145th in the nation. The Colonels rank 197th in assists allowed per game (15.9).
- Eastern Kentucky averages 3.5 blocks per game, which ranks 95th in the nation. Norfolk State ranks 134th in blocks allowed per game (4.0).
- The Colonels average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 12.4, up from 3.9 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Spartans have scored an average of 78.6 points per game (8.0 above their season average) and allowed an average of 74.0 points per game (3.8 below their season average).