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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 26, 6:15 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Swinney Recreation Center (2,000) -- Kansas City, Missouri. Television: KSMO-TV. Home Record: Nebraska Omaha 4-3. UMKC 2-8. Away Record: Nebraska Omaha 1-12, UMKC 3-6. Neutral Record: Nebraska Omaha 1-1, UMKC 1-1. Conference Record: Nebraska Omaha 3-6, UMKC 3-5. Series Record: Nebraska Omaha leads, 5-3.
GAMES NOTES: Fresh off their first road victory of the season, the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks will try to get a winning streak going when they face the UMKC Kangaroos in Summit League action from the Swinney Recreation Center.
A 95-90 win over South Dakota on Thursday broke Nebraska Omaha out of the loss column for the first time in 13 tries on the road. The struggles on the road have really hurt on the season with the Mavericks just 6-16 overall. That ledger includes a 3-6 mark against league foes for Nebraska Omaha which is playing in its first season as a member of the Summit League. The Mavericks play a pair of home games next beginning against IUPU-Ft. Wayne.
UMKC took a step out of league play to battle Houston Baptist on Tuesday. The Kangaroos were unable to get past the Huskies in a 63-61 loss. UMKC hasn't been able to find a rhythm either way recently as it has traded wins and losses in its last four contests. UMKC is just 6-15 overall, including a dismal 2-8 mark on its home floor. Against league foes, UMKC is 3-5.
Earlier this season Nebraska Omaha posted a 77-65 victory over UMKC that increased its all-time series lead to 5-3.
In its win over South Dakota, Nebraska Omaha shot an impressive 56.3 percent from the floor while hitting on 50 percent (13-of-26) from 3-point distance. Five players scored in double figures, led by Justin Simmons who poured in 26 points, nailing five triples.
Stopping teams on the defensive end of the floor has proved to be a difficult task for Nebraska Omaha. The Mavericks are one of three teams in the conference allowing foes to shoot better than 49 percent from the field. With teams enjoying so much success, the Mavericks have been victim to the highest opponent scoring average in the league (83.4 ppg). Justin Simmons (15.3 ppg) has been the top scoring option for the Mavericks, while ranking fourth in the league in points per game. The 6-foot-3 guard has really heated up recently, scoring at least 18 points in five of the last seven contests. John Karhoff (12.0 ppg) is also scoring in double figures this season.
Three foul shots from Houston Baptist in the final seconds sank UMKC on Tuesday. In the loss UMKC let an 11-point lead slip away by shooting at just a 31 percent clip in the second half. The Kangaroos shot just 39 percent overall in the contest, while being outscored 26-15 on points off turnovers.
It has largely been a tough year for UMKC on the offensive end of the floor. The Kangaroos are the second-lowest scoring team in the conference (63 ppg) while ranking dead last in assists (9.7 pg). Defense hasn't treated the Kangaroos much better as they allow 71.9 points per game, while teams shoot at a 48 percent rate from the floor. Estan Tyler (11.7 ppg) and Thomas Staton (11.2 ppg) serve as the top scoring threats on the roster. Fred Chatmon (7.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg) doesn't add much in terms of scoring but is the only player on the team bringing in more than 3.5 rebounds a contest, while ranking fourth in the conference in blocked shots.
Although Nebraska Omaha has the best scorer on the floor in this matchup in Simmons, the Mavericks' road woes reign supreme and will likely cost them another game.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UMKC 70, Nebraska Omaha 66
01/26 10:32:39 ET