The best reason to watch the American Sports Network is to see your favorite team in action. But with so much basketball and hockey action this weekend, we wanted to help viewers by pinpointing our top 10 reasons to watch (in chronological order).
FRIDAY | Tyler Kelleher vs. Jake Oettinger
New Hampshire's Tyler Kelleher, the nation's No. 2 scorer in college hockey (1.70 points per game), faces Boston University's Jake Oettinger, the nation's No. 3 goaltender (1.80 goals-against average) Friday on ASN at 6 p.m. ET. It's a showdown with major ramifications in Hockey East. Second-place BU tries to bounce back from two consecutive losses (3-2 to UMass Lowell and Harvard 6-3 in the Beanpot championship game). UNH is seventh in the conference but still within reach of a first-round bye for the conference tournament.
FRIDAY | Division II battle of Colorado
The NCAA Division II Game of the Week Friday on ASN at 9:30 p.m. ET features No. 11-ranked and first-place Fort Lewis hosting No. 22 and second-place Colorado School of Mines in a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference showdown. Both teams have clinched home court for the RMAC tournament quarterfinals and this could be a preview of the championship game. The game also showcases two of the conference's top scorers — CSM's Gokul Natesan (first with 19.2 points per game) and FL's Joshua Blaylock (third, 19.1).
SATURDAY | Jacolby Mobley, UT Martin on a roll
The Ohio Valley Conference's No. 4 leading scorer (19.1 points per game) and UT Martin go for a season sweep of Southeast Missouri (12-16, 7-6) Saturday on ASN at noon ET. The Skyhawks (18-10, 8-5), who had won seven of their last nine games, beat SEMO 79-69 at home on Jan. 14. The Skyhawks rallied from a one-point halftime deficit led by Jacolby Mobley, who shot 65.2% and scored a game-high 25 points. UTM can also take another step toward clinching the OVC's West Division. The Skyhawks lead Murray State by 1/2 game and SEMO by one game.
SATURDAY | Central Michigan women on a roll
The hottest women's basketball team in the MAC will try to extend its five-game winning streak against Toledo Saturday on ASN at noon ET. The Chippewas (19-6, 11-2) are coming off a 70-64 victory against East Division leader Ohio on Wednesday. With her 172nd career victory, Sue Guevara became the winningest coach in CMU women’s basketball history. Guevara, 172-139 in 10 seasons, surpassed Donita Davenport (171-165 from 1984-96). “In 10 years I’ve never scored a basket, I’ve never gotten a rebound, I’ve never fouled," she said. "I’ve just been very, very fortunate to coach good kids." Classy.
SATURDAY | Big showdown in the Big South
Winthrop (20-6, 12-3) goes for a season sweep of Liberty (18-10, 13-2) Saturday on ASN at 2 p.m. ET. Meanwhile, the Flames will put their 7-0 conference road record and current seven-game winning streak on the line. Both teams remain in the running for the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. Liberty, tied for first with UNC Asheville, is led by Ryan Kemrite, the Big South's ninth-leading scorer (14 points per game). The Eagles, who have won two in a row, counter with Keon Johnson (21.9 ppg, second in the conference) and Xavier Cooks, who posted 21 points and 20 rebounds in an 83-63 win against Longwood on Wednesday.
SATURDAY | Catch a pair of Big Threes
- Led by three of the CAA's top scorers, first-place UNC Wilmington continues its stretch drive at Hofstra Saturday on ASN at 4 p.m. ET. "We're in a race," head coach Kevin Keatts said at his mid-week news conference. "It's coming down to the wire." The Seahawks (22-5, 11-3) are led by the No. 3, 7 and 10 scorers in the CAA — C.J. Bryce (16.7 points per game), Chris Flemmings (15.4) and Denzel Ingram. Meanwhile, Hofstra (13-14, 5-9) boasts sophomore Justin Wright-Foreman, No. 3 in conference scoring (16.7).
- Middle Tennessee (22-4, 12-1) will try to extend its lead in Conference USA against Marshall Saturday on ASN at 6 p.m. ET. A trio of all-conference nominees averaging more than 14 points per game lead the Blue Raiders — JaCorey Williams (17.1), Giddy Potts (15.3) and Reggie Upshaw (14.1). In a 69-57 victory against Marshall on Jan. 12, MTSU held C-USA's leading scorer Jon Elmore (20 ppg) to 10 points.
SATURDAY | Denver battles to stay No. 1 in NCHC
Tanner Jaillet, the nation's No. 4 goalie (1.82 GAA), leads first-place Denver into an NCHC weekend series opener at Miami (Ohio) Saturday on ASN at 8 p.m. ET. The Pioneers moved into a one-point lead for the conference lead last weekend with a sweep of Colorado College while No. 1-ranked Minnesota Duluth was idle. The Pioneers clinched home ice for the NCHC quarterfinals, but they were played to a pair of draws earlier this season. Denver earned points in the standings by capturing a pair of shootout wins.
SUNDAY | C-USA hot shots
Unless both teams are rusty from eight-day layoffs, expect points aplenty when Old Dominion visits Charlotte in a Conference USA women's basketball game Sunday on ASN at 1 p.m. ET. Since the start of conference play, the 49ers are tops in scoring with 76.9 points per game. Meanwhile, ODU's Jennie Simms is the nation's No. 2 scorer with 25.4 points per game. She had 22 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds in ODU's last game, a 73-61 victory against UAB on Feb. 11. After losing two in a row, Charlotte (17-7, 9-4) leads ODU (13-11, 8-5), Louisiana Tech and Southern Miss by only one game for third place in C-USA.
SUNDAY | Milestone Meghan
Drexel's Meghan Creighton became the third player in CAA history to reach 1,000 points with 500 assists and 400 rebounds during a 76-51 victory Sunday against UNC Wilmington. She also set a school record and tied a CAA standard with 10 3-pointers. After playing Towson Friday night, Creighton and the Dragons resume their battle with Delaware for place in the CAA Sunday on ASN at 3 p.m. ET. The Blue Hens went into Friday's game against Northeastern on a seven-game winning streak, but Drexel has won three in a row against UD.