At a Glance
This week's SLIAC Game of the Week is between two teams that had memorable runs to the postseason last year and are among those battling for tournament play once again in 2017-18 men's basketball season. Westminster ran through the SLIAC Tournament for their second consecutive tournament title, becoming the first repeat champion since 2008 and 2009. Principia meanwhile won seven of their final eight regular-season games last season to advance to their first conference tournament in over a decade. Both teams are currently tied for 2nd place in the SLIAC standings and will meet on Saturday, December 16 in Fulton, Mo. with tip starting at 2 p.m.
Principia comes into the game with a 2-4 overall record and a 2-1 record in conference play. They defeated MacMurray 80-52 in their last outing, on Saturday, with Micah Paulson leading the way with 23 points. Parker Davidson added 18 points and 9 rebounds as four different Panthers reached double figures in scoring.
Principia is averaging 78.2 points per game this season, 5th in the conference, but are the league's top shooting team at 54-percent. The Panthers are an athletics team that prefers shots from inside the arc, averaging just 18 attempts from three-point range per game. Micah Paulson heads up a rotation that goes just six deep, averaging 20.5 points per game and ranks 4th in the conference with a 53-percent shooting percentage from three. Trevaughn Goodman is averaging 20.2 points per game and leads all conference players in field goal percentage (70.1%).
Westminster College 'BLUE JAYS'
Westminster enters with a 4-3 overall record and find themselves tied for second place with six other teams the SLIAC standings with a 2-1 SLIAC mark. The Blue Jays defeated Spalding 67-64 in their last time on the court with Kobe Wands pacing the Blue Jays with 21 points.
Westminster is in the middle of the pack among conference teams in both scoring (78.3 ppg) and defense (77.6 ppg). The Blue Jays are strong with the ball as guards Tanner Cochran, Carter Wands, and Kobe Wands protect the ball well with Westminster committing the fewest turnovers in the league. Wands is the team's leading scorer at 20.0 points per game, hitting 40-percent of his three-point attempts. Stu Hollandsworth is the inside man for the Blue Jays (12.7 ppg and 3.9 rpg) while Carter Wands runs the point averaging 4.1 assists per game.
Looking At Last Year
- Westminster leads the all-time series against Principia 42-12.
- Last year Principia won against Westminster for the first time in four tries and this year is looking for their first win against Westminster in Fulton since 2005.
- Westminster is the two-time defending SLIAC Tournament Champion.
- Last season Principia made their first SLIAC Tournament since 2005.
- Westminster is 12-1 at home over the last two years.
- Principia features two of the last three SLIAC Newcomer of the Year award winners; Parker Davidson (2014-15) and Trevaughn Goodman (2016-17).