Can Eastern Washington win their first D-1 home game of the season over Southern Utah?
Southern Utah Thunderbirds vs. Eastern Washington Eagles
Thursday, December 2, 2021 – 09:00 PM EST at Reese Court
Eastern Washington will get their first D-1 home game of the season after starting the season 3-3. The Eagles just knocked off a top 50 team in Washington State and now get to come home for a game against Southern Utah.
Southern Utah, on the other hand, is coming off wins against Yale and Bowling Green but had lost to Dixie State on the road earlier this year. In three road games for Southern Utah, the Thunderbirds lost games by at least seven points or more. Those two wins against Yale and Bowling Green were neutral court games.
Eastern Washington is getting to the line at a high rate and knocking down 73.5 percent of foul shots. At home, that number should stay about the same, if not higher. The Eagles have struggled a bit holding onto the ball, and have turned it over 22.3 percent of the time.
However, Southern Utah isn't a major threat on the defensive end when it comes to forcing turnovers, as the Thunderbirds have only earned 16.3 percent turnovers.
Eastern Washington shoots plenty of threes and they also nail them. The Eagles are shooting 35.9 percent from downtown on the season while Southern Utah allows teams to shoot 31.2 percent. Meanwhile, Eastern Washington has struggled inside, shooting just 43.5 percent, however, going up against Southern Utah, things should get a bit easier, as the Thunderbirds are allowing 51.3 percent inside the arc.
On the other hand, Eastern Washington is holding teams to a 46.5 percent effective field goal percentage. While the Eagles are not forcing turnovers at a high rate, they are defending the three at a high rate. Teams are shooting just 29.2 percent from downtown against Eastern Washington. Meanwhile, Southern Utah is shooting only 27.1 percent from deep.
Like Eastern Washington, Southern Utah isn't shy from shooting the deep ball. The Eagles are also holding opponents to 47.9 percent inside the arc.
Rebounding should be a close contest, but just looking at the average height for each team, Eastern Washington has a major advantage. Eastern Washington is the 13th tallest team in the nation in comparison to Southern Utah being 207th in the nation.
Neither team has much depth. You’ll most likely watch starters play most of the minutes. Four of the five starters for Southern Utah play over 31 minutes per game while five players on Eastern Washington usually play about 30 minutes per game.
This game should be a fun one throughout. I like Eastern Washington to shoot better overall, win on the glass, and commit fewer turnovers on the offensive end. I think the Eagles win outright, of course, but I'll stick to +4.5 for my NCAAB pick today.
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