The Wiley College men’s basketball team will begin the 2022 slate with Red River Athletic Conference play at Louisiana State University-Shreveport at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and host No. 14 LSU-Alexandria at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

No fans will be allowed at either game. Live video and statistics will be available for both games. The links are listed in the media schedule on the Wiley College Athletic website.

With the conference split into two divisions, this will be the only scheduled meetings against LSU-Shreveport and LSU-Alexandria, who are in the East, and the Wildcats in the West. Wiley College hopes to start conference play with a victory for the third straight season and fourth in the last five years. It will need to win its first game away from Alumni Gymnasium since winning in the first round of the 2020 Red River Athletic Conference Tournament. The Wildcats are looking to end a five-game losing streak against the Pilots and continue their nine-game home winning streak with a victory over LSU-Alexandria on Saturday. The Wildcats’ only victory against the Generals came in 2018. This will be the second time the Wildcats have faced a ranked opponent this season after playing Southwestern Assemblies of God University – which was ranked No. 3 on November 13.

Entering conference play the Wildcats are one of the best defensive teams in the conference. They rank third in points allowed per game (65.9), opponents’ field goal percentage (39.9 percent), and blocks per game (3.9). Wiley College is fourth in defensive rebounds per game (40).

Demarius Houston ranks eighth in the conference with 2.3 three-pointers made per game. Michael Aiken leads the conference with a 90.6 free throw percentage. Travis Burrus ranks seventh with 3.6 assists per game. Aiken (2.1) and Burrus (1.8) rank in the top 10 in steals per game. Timothy Holland is fourth with 1.5 blocks per game.

The Wildcats (7-4) last played on December 14 when it defeated Dillard University 76-69. They hit eight 3-pointers and shot 47.4 percent from the field. Houston led the team with 18 points and three steals. Aiken followed with 15 points.

LSU-Shreveport (7-5) are the two-time defending conference champion and have won three of the last four. It played a challenging nonconference schedule with four games against ranked opponents. The Pilots defeated No. 8 SAGU on December 15.

Royce Hunter leads the Pilots with 16.1 points per game. Kevin Norman is their top rebounder with 5.7 per contest. Leondre Washington leads with three assists per game. Jeff Boyd is the team’s top defender with 1.8 steals and 0.9 blocks per game.

LSU-Alexandria (8-1) enters conference play winning its last three games. Its only setback was against No. 2 Loyola University. A.J. Rainey leads the Generals with 22.7 points, 4.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game. Joe Lewis is the top rebounder with 10.3 per contest. Christian Coleman is averaging 2.1 blocks per game.

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