Thursday Night Scores & Standings
CUSA standings after Thursday, Jan. 11, 2017.
WKU Picks Up A Big Road W
The game of the night was between ODU and WKU. It went exactly as expected. ODU put up a good fight, and there were moments when the Monarchs looked like they could take WKU. Give WKU a lot of credit for overcoming the fight that ODU threw at them. Justin Johnson was lights out. The SR F hit 5 3’s and pulled in 14 boards. Looking at the numbers you would’ve thought that ODU should’ve won the game. They outscored WKU in the paint, points off of TO’s, 2nd chance, and bench. The real difference was WKU’s ability to knock down 3’s and their defense. WKU is playing like the best team in CUSA. It’s never easy to go on the road in conference play and pick up a W. It’s even harder to do it vs one of the best teams in CUSA. ODU’s style of play was one that could really bother WKU, and it did for awhile. WKU was just too good down the stretch.
For ODU it was a missed opportunity. The Monarchs struggled to make key shots down down the stretch. ODU can’t sit around and sulk after this loss. They get Marshall and FIU next.
La Tech Suffers Second Half Collapse
La Tech was only down 2 at the half vs Middle Tennessee, but had no answer for F Nick King and Brandon Walters in the second half. That duo combined for 40 points and 17 points. The biggest story so far in the CUSA season may be Tech’s early struggles. We are talking about a team that was supposed to be challenging for a CUSA regular season title. Now the Bulldogs are just hoping to regain some confidence. I haven’t watch enough of La Tech to tell you what exactly their issue is right now, but if I had to guess its their defense.
With the dominance of WKU it kind of feels like MTSU is getting a little bit disrespected. That’s a scary thought, because the Blue Raiders are still a really good team. Sure they haven’t exactly rolled over teams, but King, Walters, and Potts are still great players. We will have to wait till Jan 20th to see just how good MTSU is.
Florida Schools Go 2-0 in Texas
FIU beating UTSA is somewhat surprising, but UTEP losing to FAU is really surprising. FAU had lost 6 in a row coming into their matchup with FAU. FAU absolutely shredded UTEP on the boards 49-33. FAU C Ronald Delph had himself a game 12 points and 17 boards. I’m not sure where UTEP goes from here. The Miners get FIU next, and that wont be an easy matchup.
UTSA has now lost 2 in a row after beating La Tech on the road. Everyone was talking about watching out for upstart UTSA, perhaps the young team just isn’t there yet. The Roadrunners get UTEP and FAU next, both are winnable games. UTSA really needs to capitalize on winning them, because they get MTSU, UAB, Marshall, and WKU after that.
No one was expecting FIU to be sitting a 2-2 in conference play. For a team picked to be last in CUSA the Panthers are certainly playing well. Brian Beard is fun to watch.
Southern Miss Can’t Slow Down UAB
Southern Miss had no answer for UAB’s offense. The Blazers shot 69% from inside the arch, and 47% beyond. Very impressive numbers. Southern Miss also got killed on the boards 33 to 19. After their loss to MTSU UAB is quietly putting together a nice run. They get WKU before the Hilltoppers get MTSU. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if UAB beats WKU.