7 p.m. • Miami leads series 4-0
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•After a week off for the holidays, Miami returns to action hosting William & Mary at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 29. Both Miami and William & Mary are looking to get on the winning track and are coming off a pair of losses. Senior forward Julian Mavunga ranks among the nation’s top players in numerous statistical categories and his numbers are speaking volumes against some solid competition. Mavunga is one of just three players in the nation averaging more than 20 ppg and 10 rpg. Mavunga ranks among the top 20 in the country in scoring (15th), rebounding (12th), games with a double-double (t-8th), percentage of games with a double-double (t-4th) and percentage of team points scored (1st). He also ranks among the top 10 nationally in made free throws per game, minutes played and games of 40 or more minutes. (Rankings courtesy of Stats, Inc.)...William & Mary enters Thursday’s game with a 2-10 mark and is coming off a pair of losses at Missouri (94-56) and to Iona (83-65). The Tribe won at Liberty (65-64) and against Wesley College (94-56). Two players are averaging double figures in scoring, led by Quinn McDowell’s 10.8 ppg and followed by Marcus Thornton’s 10.0 ppg.
VCU (9-3, 1-0 Colonial) at Akron (7-5, 0-0 MAC)
7 p.m. • VCU leads series 5-0
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• Akron closes out is five-game homestand against VCU on Thursday night. The Zips have gone 4-0 so far during the stretch. The Zips’ 14-game home winning streak is currently tied for the 16th-longest active streak in the nation (games through Dec. 26). Three teams in the top-20, including Akron, put their streak on the line Thursday. During its four-game winning streak, the Zips are outscoring their opponents by 24.5 ppg (86.2-61.8) and hold a +11.3 rpg advantage on the glass (44.2-33.0). Akron has five players averaging 9.0 or more points per game, including Zeke Marshall (11.4), Nick Harney (10.6), Quincy Diggs (9.9), Nikola Cvetinovic (9.3), Demetrius Treadwell (9.0)...VCU enters tonight’s contest with a 9-3 record and is coming off an 80-68 win over UNC Greensboro on Dec. 22. The Rams have won six-straight games, including two-straight on the road. VCU has three players averaging in double figures, including Bradford Burgess (14.7 ppg), Rob Brandenberg (10.6 ppg) and Troy Daniels (10.2 ppg). VCU head coach Shaka Smart was an assistant coach for the Zips from 2003-06, including two seasons under head coach Keith Dambrot.
Kent State (8-3, 0-0 MAC) at Arkansas State (6-7, 0-0 Sun Belt)
8 p.m. • Arkansas State leads series 1-0
• Kent State will put the finishing touches on a six-game road swing when it returns to action on Thursday night at Arkansas State. With a 5-2 record in the month of December, the Golden Flashes are looking to give their program its most wins in the 12th calendar month since the 1999-00 team was 6-1. Kent State is also looking to put to rest a two game losing streak after dropping its final two games of the Athletes in Action Classic sponsored by Gossner Foods in Utah last week. The Golden Flashes posted a win over Saint Peter’s 67-58 before falling to Texas-Arlington 74-73 and Utah State 81-62. Senior forward Justin Greene earned a spot on the all-tournament team in Utah averaging 12 points and 8.3 rebounds while posting a double-double in two of the three games, including a season high 17 points vs Texas-Arlington and a team high 13 points vs Saint Peter’s. Greene has 677 career rebounds which are fourth all-time and the most by a Kent State player in 25 years....Arkansas State is coming off a 70-46 loss at Saint Louis last Thursday. The Red Wolves are 5-1 at home this season having won five straight. Five players are averaging 9.9 points per game or more led by 6’8” senior forward Malcoln Kirkland with 11.9 points and 6.9 rebounds.
Eastern Michigan (5-7, 0-0 MAC) at Santa Clara (7-4, 0-0 WCC)
11:15 p.m. • First Meeting
• The 2011 Cable Car Classic, Dec. 29-30, hosted by the Santa Clara University Broncos in Santa Clara, California, includes a wide-ranging group of participants. The Wagner College Seahawks, from Staten Island. N.Y. will take on the Air Force Falcons, from USAF Academy, Colo. in the first game of the tournament, Dec. 29. The second game will feature the host Santa Clara Broncos against the EMU Eagles, from Ypsilanti, Mich. EMU’s nine-point first half at Virgina Tech, Dec. 22, is a modern-day low for an EMU men’s basketball squad. The Eagles’ 36-point scoring effort in a loss at Purdue, Dec. 11, was the lowest point total for an EMU men’s basketball team since the then-Hurons scored 34 in a 54-34 loss in the opening game of the 1956-57 season, Dec. 5, 1956 at home against Hope.