Mercer Bears vs. Rice Owls - 11/27/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Rice Owls (1-2) at Mercer Bears (2-2)
College Basketball: Thursday, November 27, 2014 at 9:30 pm (Sullivan Arena)
The Line: Mercer Bears -6.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Rice Owls take the hardwood with the Mercer Bears in the Great Alaska Shootout Thursday.
It doesn't seem as if the Rice Owls are getting much respect as most experts have picked this tean at or near the bottom of the CUSA. It's too early to determine if the predictions are on the money or way off the mark as the Owls fell to 1-2 following a 69-65 loss to a decent William & Mary squad. Rice trailed by eight at the break and a late rally fell short as the Tribe shot the ball well at 48% and hit enough free throws to hold off the 43% shooting Owls. Seth Gearhart was the best player in a Rice uniform with 14 points, five pulls and six steals with Bishop Mency following with 13 points including a 3-5 mark from the perimeter. Marcus Jackson and Van Green tossed in ten points each with Green grabbing eight rebounds.
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The Mercer Bears squad that upset Duke in the Big Dance moved to the SouthCon with a ton of new faces. The Bears lost six of their top scorers although this team has experience because they go deep on their bench. The Bears missed all that graduating talent in a 75-62 loss at Colorado State where they fell behind by ten after 20 minutes and were never able to close the gap. The Rams hit almost half their looks including eight bombs and Mercer simply couldn't keep up with their 41% accuracy. Mercer received 14 points and seven pulls from Darious Moten on 5-8 from the floor with Jibri Bryan adding 12. TJ Hallice, Ike Nwamu and Phillip Leonard combined for 25 points but Mercer needed more explosive play at the offensive end.
The under is 21-6 in RICE last 27 overall and is 7-3 in RICE last 10 Thu. games while the over is 9-4-1 in RICE last 14 neutral site games. For Mercer the over is 9-3 in the Bears last 12 overall while the over is 9-3 in MER last 12 non-conference games. The Owls don't have a lot of backers early in the season so I'm sure they want to prove the 'experts' wrong. I'm interested in seeing if Mercer can find replacement production for the graduating talent so they are a bit of a mystery until we've seen them play more. For now I'll take the points and try to disect this further...