GAMES 15-16 PREVIEW: Berry & Oglethorpe

GAMES 15-16 PREVIEW: Berry & Oglethorpe

Game Notes

SEWANEE, Tenn. - The Tigers will hit the road for the first time in the second half of the season with two key conference tests at Berry and Oglethorpe. 

Game #15 | Sewanee (13-1, 2-1) at Berry (9-4, 2-1) | Friday, Jan. 11, 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT
Cage Center, Mount Berry, Ga.
All-Time Series: Sewanee leads series, 14-4
Last win: Feb. 11, 2018 in Sewanee (78-54)

Game #16 | Sewanee at Oglethorpe (7-7, 1-2) | Sunday, Jan. 13, 3 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. CT
Dorough Field House, Atlanta, Ga. 
All-Time Series: Oglethorpe leads series, 44-39
Last win: Feb. 9, 2018 in Sewanee (81-46) 

DEFENSIVE STOP: The Tigers finished the 2017-18 season with the nation's best defensive 3-point shooting. The team finished with a 27.5 percent mark, and they averaged 5.9 treys per game. 

In 2018-19, the Purple and Gold are 52nd in all of NCAA Division III with a 30.8 percentage. The team is also ranked inside the top-50 nationally in opponent points per game (67.2; 42nd) and defensive field goal percentage (40.0; 49th). 

CHA-CHING: The Tigers are one of the best from beyond the arc this season. They are 23rd in the nation in made triples with 146, 40th in attempts with 377 and 46th in percentage (38.7). 

Averaging 10.4 3-pointers per game, the Tigers are 29th in the nation in the category, but they are second behind Birmingham-Southern in the conference (10.5). 

Individually, Luke Smith leads the conference in percentage with a 43.7 clip, good for 53rd in the nation. His 3.21 makes from downtown is 47th in all of D-III. 

MAKING THEM WHEN IT MATTERS MOST: The Tigers are 91st in the country in free throw percentage with 73.0 percent, which also leads the league. 

This is thanks to Luke Smith, who leads the conference in percentage (66-of-71), good for 93 percent. That mark is also the seventh-best percentage in all of NCAA Division III. 

A LOOK AT THE VIKINGS: A lot of people did not see the Berry Vikings as a threat in 2017-18. The team finished as the 8-seed in the SAA Championship and entered the postseason tournament with an 8-17 record, with wins over Oglethorpe, Millsaps and Rhodes in league play. 

After winning their senior day game over OU, 69-58, in the regular season finale, the Vikings traveled to Centre to face the top-seed Colonels. In the previous two meetings, the margin of victory was 23 and 29. That did not matter to Berry, who came into Danville and ended Centre's season with a 97-93 victory in the quarterfinal round. 

After defeating Birmingham-Southern by 19, 95-76, in the semifinals, Berry squared off with 7-seed Hendrix for the championship, and they were victorious, defeating the Warriors, 88-78 for the Vikings' 11th win, the most since moving to Division III.

This also marked the first 8-seed to win the SAA Tournament in the conference's young history.

With a new coach in Mitch Cole, the Vikings are picking up where they left off, as they enter the weekend tied for second with Sewanee and Millsaps in league play and a 9-4 record overall. 

Berry has three players in double figures: Elijah Hirsh (15.8), who is second in scoring in the league, Caleb Haynes (12.5) and Quinn Atkinson (12.0). Haynes (8.4) and Hirsh (7.2) have crashed the boards this season, as they are second and third respectively in the conference. 

This marks the 19th meeting all-time between the two schools, and Sewanee leads the series, 14-4. The Tigers took both contests from the Vikings last season.

A LOOK AT THE STORMY PETRELS: Oglethorpe has been an up-and-down team so far in 2018-19, as they enter the weekend with a 7-7 record overall after splitting their weekend trip to Millsaps and Birmingham-Southern. 

The conference's third-leading scorer, Will Perry, leads the Petrels with 15.4 points per game as he averages 30.7 minutes on the floor. He, along with Will Koch, are averaging six-plus boards per game. 

This is the 84th meeting all-time between the two schools, with OU leading the series, 44-39. The teams split their regular season matchups a year ago, with each team winning on their home floor. The last time the teams faced off on "The Blacktop", the Petrels took the Tigers to overtime and were victorious, 65-60. 

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