Preview of CCSU game

GAME NOTES: With just their third win of the 2004-05 campaign, the Blue Devils of Central Connecticut State made their move into the title game of the annual Cable Car Classic tonight where they will face off against the Charlotte 49ers at the Leavey Center in Santa Barbara. The Blue Devils went from being squashed by in-state rival and 11th-ranked UConn on December 22nd to defeating host school Santa Clara on Tuesday night by a score of 80-68. The win was the second in the last three outings for a team that is near the bottom of the standings in the Northeast Conference at the moment and the first for the school in the state of California since moving to the Division I level prior to the 1986-87 season. As for the 49ers, representing Conference USA, they are now an impressive 8-2 on the year thanks to an 80-74 win over the Yale Bulldogs in the opening round last night. The triumph was the fifth in a row for the group and the seventh in the last eight games overall, with the lone loss during that stretch coming against nationally-ranked Alabama.

Although he is just a freshman, Leemire Goldwire played like a seasoned veteran versus Yale on Tuesday night as he dropped in a career-high 22 points, while Martin Iti added a double-double consisting of 18 points and 10 rebounds in the six-point triumph at the Leavey Center. Goldwire missed on just one of his seven tries from behind the three-point line while the team converted 10- of-19 beyond the arc to shoot better from long range (.526) than they did from the field (.456) overall. Also scoring in double figures for Charlotte were Curtis Withers and Eddie Basden with 16 points apiece, combining for 15 rebounds and seven assists as well. Withers, even though he was not the high man last night, is still the driving force behind this offense, leading them with 14.8 ppg. However Basden (14.6 ppg), a 50.5 percent shooter from the field, refuses to allow Withers to get all the glory and is currently leading the group with his 7.8 rpg and is first in both assists (45) and steals (36).

Obie Nwadike hit all but two of his 10 field goal attempts and nearly pulled off a double-double in the win over Santa Clara as he tallied team highs with 20 points and nine rebounds on Monday night. Also scoring in double figures for the Blue Devils were Lenny Jefferson with 18 points, thanks to 4-of-6 beyond the arc, DeMario Anderson with 17 and Javier Mojica off the bench with 10 in 29 minutes of action. The trio converted an amazing 9-of-11 behind the three-point line, the team finishing up 9-of-17 on the night overall to help offset 16 turnovers. Anderson, the team’s leading scorer with 14.8 ppg, is now knocking down a healthy 51.9 percent out on the perimeter and 16-of-17 at the free-throw line. Nwadike (12.5 ppg), the only other player scoring in double figures at the moment, accounts for a team-best 7.4 rpg and has 15 steals at the defensive end of the floor as well.

As great of a win as it was for the Blue Devils last night, the fun in the sun stops in this round because the 49ers simply have too many weapons to get the job done. Expect to see Withers and Basden holding court in the paint and sending CCSU back to the East Coast with a loss.

Predictions for tonight?

I say we win this one by 15+. Hopefully we can build a little momentum and get into a good rhythm going into conference play. has us as a 14 point favorite tonight by the way.

Give me a dime on the niners