Columbus State Men’s Basketball Set for Loop Pizza Grill Classic
Columbus – The Columbus State men's basketball team will participate in the Loop Pizza Grill Classic hosted by Valdosta State taking on Florida Memorial on Thursday before taking on Shaw Friday afternoon. Both games are set to tip-off at 4:00 p.m. inside The Complex on the campus of VSU.
Scouting Columbus State
CSU is coming off a 78-66 non-conference win over West Alabama last weekend which gave them the season series sweep. The Cougars also defeated UWA on November 30 68-66 in Livingston, Alabama.
In Saturday's win, Columbus State overcame a cold shooting start in which they began the game 2-of-16 from the field through 10 minutes of the first half to shoot over 55% (24-of-43) the remainder of the game. CSU was led offensively by Columbus native Steve Peterson who netted a career high 27 points including draining six three-pointers. He also grabbed 11 rebounds to post his first double-double of the season.
On the national level, Peterson is in the top 25 in two categories ranking 24th in three-point fields made a game with three while sitting 19th in three-point field goal percentage with a 48.8% mark. Winford Ivey, another Columbus native, ranks 34th in the nation with 5.3 assists per game. Darius Mcknight, who sits in a tie for fourth all-time on CSU's block list with 79, is averaging two blocks per contest, the 30th best number nationally.
Scouting Florida Memorial
FMU is currently on a three-game losing streak and will enter the contest with a 4-5 mark. In their last game, the Lions dropped a 79-47 decision to Lynn. George Gray led the way scoring 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the floor.
Florida Memorial, who competes on the NAIA level, has squared off against a trio of NCAA teams sporting a 2-1 mark against. They have defeated Barry (79-74) and Tampa (53-50) while losing to Lynn. All three schools are a part of the Sunshine State Conference. George Gray also paces the team in scoring on the season sporting a 14.6 points per game average.
Shaw (4-2) is coming off just their second loss of the season Tuesday evening falling to West Florida 80-62. West Florida took a seven point lead (39-32) into the half and came out of the break on fire knocking down 66.7% (16-for-24) from the field to secure the victory. Shaw was dominated in the paint giving up 48 points while scoring just 28 themselves and committed 20 turnovers that led to 27 points.
A trio of players lead the offensive charge for the Bears led by Malik Alvin's 16.3 points per game closely followed by Tony Smith (14.7 ppg) and Junius Chaney (12.5 ppg). As a team, Shaw is shooting 50.6% from the floor on the season, the 12th best number nationally. They are solid on the other side of the ball as well limiting opponents to the 24th lowest total in the nation, 62.8 points per game.
Thursday's matchup can be heard on live NewsRadio 540 while Friday's tilt will be broadcasted on Fox Sports 1460 by the voice of Columbus State, Scott Miller.