11/16/04 — MOC Pickle Classic preview -- Bluefield State

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MOC Pickle Classic preview -- Bluefield State

Published in Sports on November 16, 2004 1:56 PM

When a basketball team wins only three games during a season and is outscored by an average of 20 points per game, it's difficult to find too many positives.

But if there's a silver lining for Bluefield State, five players averaged in double figures last season -- and four of them are back this year.

Bluefield State will be Mount Olive's opponent Friday in the first round of the 39th Annual Pickle Classic at College Hall. Tip-off is 8 p.m. and will be preceded by the first game of the tournament between Lees-McRae and Newberry.

Bluefield State posted an overall record of 3-25 and a 3-15 mark in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Big Blues were winless in their first 12 games before stunning eventual 20-game winner Charleston 80-74. Bluefield State would win two more games before ending the season with a six-game losing streak, the last two losses coming to Charleston.

The Big Blues return three seniors and a junior who all averaged at least 10 points per game last year. Senior center Jerrod Patterson (6-6) averaged 11.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game last season, while senior guard Chawn Martin (6-3) averaged 11.1 points per contest and shot 71.2 percent from the free throw line.

Senior forward Terry Blount (6-5) averaged 10.2 points per game for Bluefield State. Junior center Corey Love (6-5) did not start any games last year, but averaged 10.1 points per game and shot 54.7 percent from the field in 20 games.

In addition, sophomore center Josh Sizemore (6-5) averaged 7.4 points per game and led the Big Blues in shooting with a 61.2 field goal percentage.

Bluefield State is coached by Terry Brown, who is in his first year.

Bluefield State is scheduled to open its season Wednesday at Elizabeth City State. A week after the Big Blues play in the Pickle Classic, Mount Olive will return the favor by competing in Bluefield State's "Currence Classic" Thanksgiving weekend.

This is Bluefield State's first appearance in the Pickle Classic.