2013-14 NAIA DII Menís Basketball Game of the Week - No. 2
January 16, 2014
NAIA Game of the Week – No. 1
No. 22 St. Thomas (Fla.) (12-4, 5-1 TSC) at No. 1 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (17-1, 6-0 TSC)
Saturday, Jan. 18 | 7 p.m. EST | ICI Center | Daytona Beach, Fla.
Live Video/Audio/Stats – Provided by Embry-Riddle
• A battle between the top two programs in The Sun Conference standings will face off on Saturday in Daytona Beach, Fla., as top-ranked Embry-Riddle (Fla.) hosts No. 22 St. Thomas (Fla.). The Eagles, who hold the best win percentage in Division II (.944), lead the league with a 6-0 mark. St. Thomas is one-game back at 5-1.
• Embry-Riddle (17-1) puts a seven-game win streak on the line, with the only loss of the year coming back on Dec. 14 against Division I member Our Lady of the Lake (Texas), 91-85.
• Standing 12-4 on the year, the Bobcats have gone 5-1 in their last six contests.
• Last time out on Wednesday, Embry-Riddle remained the only one-loss team in Division II with a 77-69 victory over Southeastern (Fla.) in Daytona Beach, Fla. DeForest Carter finished with 19 points and 10 assists for his third double-double of the year.
• Despite trailing 48-39 at the half, St. Thomas roared back to defeat Warner (Fla.), 97-89, on Wednesday. Senior guards Floyd Battle and Kevin Hincapie each scored 23 points.
• In the last 10 meetings in the series, St. Thomas owns a slight 6-4 edge. The Bobcats have won three out of the last four, but Embry-Riddle was the victor in the last match-up on Feb. 9, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Fla.
• The average margin of victory in the last four meetings has been 4.5 points. Last year, Embry-Riddle won 72-63 behind a distinct free-throw advantage, as the Eagles outscored the Bobcats 29-6 at the charity stripe.
• In the last five home games in the series, Embry-Riddle has dropped four of those contests.
• The game could be a test of the No. 1-ranked defense against a team that shoots over 48 percent from the floor. Embry-Riddle enters Saturday with the top-ranked field goal percentage defense (.370) and fifth in scoring defense (62.5). St. Thomas ranks 23rd in Division II in shooting accuracy.
• Embry-Riddle's Carter has his name on the top of most statistical categories for the Eagles, scoring a team-best 16.4 points and maintaining averages of 6.8 assists, 2.9 steals and 1.4 blocks. He ranks third in the NAIA with his assists average. Cesar Pastrana is first on the club in rebounding (7.3).
• Hincapie leads the Bobcats in steals (3.1) and is second in scoring (15.2). Battle has poured in 10-or-more points in 10 of his 11 games, including a season-best 23 (tie) on Wednesday. He is first on the team in scoring with a 16.1 points average. Two other Bobcats average in double-figure scoring.
• Embry-Riddle is a perfect 11-0 this year at the ICI Center. In those games, the team has won by an average of over 24 points. Overall, the Eagles are owners of a 13-game home win streak dating back to February of 2013.
• The Bobcats are 5-1 when playing in true road contests. The lone loss was at Morningside (Iowa), 86-78 on Dec. 18.
• The rematch is scheduled to take place on Feb. 12 in Miami Gardens.
Note – A special thanks to the Sports Information Departments at Embry-Riddle and St. Thomas for providing portions of the information above.
Additional Notes from Around NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball
(Through games played on Jan. 9, 2014)
• Oregon Tech head coach Danny Miles has a shot to become the second-ever coach in any level of men's college basketball to hit 1,000 wins. He currently has 998 victories heading into the Hustlin' Owls contest Saturday at No. 7 Southern Oregon. His potential shot for win No. 1,000 would be on Feb. 24 at home against Eastern Oregon. For more information, click here.
• With 698 current victories, Bethel (Ind.) head coach Mike Lightfoot would become the second active Division II head coach to reach the 700-win threshold. The Pilots could give coach win No. 699 on Saturday at Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) and potentially the signature victory on Jan. 21 versus Taylor (Ind.).
• Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) head coach Ralph Hodge is nearing 700 career wins -- he sits at 696 heading into the game against Saint Xavier (Ill.) on Saturday. He currently holds the third-most victories among active Division II coaches.
• Brad Karp of Saint Xavier set the all-time SXU scoring record in the game against Indiana South Bend on Jan. 11. His 28 points pushed his career total to 2,530 points. Karp joins NCAA Division I standout Doug McDermott of Creighton (Iowa) as the only two active men's college basketball players in the nation with over 2,500 career points.
• From Jan. 24 - 26, the 11th Annual Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers weekend will occur to raise awareness about the fight against cancer. Both divisions of NAIA Men's Basketball Coaches will conduct a national effort of fund raising for the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and American Cancer Society. For more information, click here.
• There are no teams in Division II with an undefeated record. Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (17-1) had the fewest losses with one. Last week, Midland (Neb.) joined the Eagles with one loss but dropped to 16-2 after a setback on Jan. 11.
• Dordt (Iowa) (18-2) have the most victories with 18.
• With a 15-2 record, Friends (Ky.) holds the distinction of the longest Division II active win streak at 15-straight games. After a 94-71 loss to Ozarks (Mo.) on Nov. 5, the Falcons have rattled off 15-consecutive wins. Saint Xavier (Ill.) (12-straight) is right behind on the list.
• Two teams are still searching for their first victory.
• For the fourth-straight time in the Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll, Embry-Riddle (Fla.) landed as the No. 1 team. For the complete release, click here.
• Derek Semenas of Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) was named this week’s NAIA National Division II Men’s Basketball Player of the Week. For the complete release, click here.
• Other Top 25 matchups this week:
o Tuesday – No. 24 Huntington (Ind.) def. No. 15 Bethel (Ind.), 86-84
o Wednesday – No. 19 Hastings (Neb.) def No. 9 Midland (Neb.), 94-93
o Saturday – No. 20 Marian (Ind.) @ No. 11 Saint Francis (Ind.)