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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, January 1, 3 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Comcast Center (17,950) -- College Park, Maryland. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: IUPUI 4-3, Maryland 9-0. Away Record: IUPUI 1-6, Maryland 1-0. Neutral Record: IUPUI 1-2, Maryland 1-1. Conference Record: IUPUI 1-3, Maryland 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAMES NOTES: The Maryland Terrapins will try to get a win in their last non-conference game before opening Atlantic Coast Conference play when they host the IUPUI Jaguars at the Comcast Center on New Year's Day.
IUPUI was run off the court last time out against Summit League foe Oakland in an 84-62 loss. The defeat came after the Jaguars won back-to-back games for the first time this season. The Jaguars are 6-11 overall, which includes a 1-6 mark on the road. This is the first game of a three-game road trip for the Jaguars, who continue on to play Western Illinois on Saturday.
It has been nearly two months since Maryland lost a game. Since a 72-69 defeat to Kentucky on Nov. 9 the Terps have ripped off 11 straight wins and are currently 11-1 overall. Much of the non-conference schedule was spent at the Comcast Center where the Terps are a perfect 9-0 this year. Maryland's first two ACC games will also be at home beginning on Saturday against Virginia Tech.
This will mark the first time these two programs have ever been matched up on the hardwood.
In its loss to Oakland, IUPUI struggled to find its shot and connected on just 37.7 percent of its field goal attempts. On the other end the Jaguars were not much more successful as they allowed Oakland to shoot at a 52.8 percent rate for the game. IUPUI also turned the ball over 19 times, including a forgettable eight-turnover game from John Hart.
Turnovers have been a real problem for IUPUI this year as they have committed the fifth most in the country (239). Constantly losing control of the ball has not helped improve on a defensive effort. IUPUI is giving up 75.9 points per game on 48,.1 percent shooting. Both of those totals are among the 25 worst in the country. IUPUI scores 69.1 points per game, on 44.1 percent shooting itself. Hart (14.7 ppg) is the primary scorer and ball handler for the squad but needs to improve in terms of ball control as he has turned the ball over at least four times in seven games. Mitchell Patton (13.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg) is also scoring in double figures. Ian Chiles (10.2 ppg) adds some depth but is listed as questionable with a toe injury.
Maryland had no trouble with Delaware State in its last game. The Terrapins shot 56.9 percent from the floor and held the Hornets to just 32.1 percent shooting in a 29-point romp. Maryland dominated inside, outscoring the Hornets 58-20 in the paint.
Playing well on both ends has fueled Maryland's success. The Terps are scoring a healthy 76.1 points per game while shooting an even 50.0 percent from the field which is the 12th best mark in the country. The Terps are also among the top five teams nationally in assists (18.7 pg) and rebounds (43.7 pg). On the other end Maryland is giving up 59.0 points per game on the second-lowest opponent field-goal percentage (34.4) in the country. Alex Len (13.7 ppg, 8.2 rpg) has been a force on the interior. Besides leading the team in scoring the 7-foot-1 center is also swatting 2.3 shots per game. Dezmine Wells (12.6 ppg) and Nick Faust (10.2 ppg) are running mates in the backcourt and the only other players in double figures.
IUPUI doesn't have the type of interior defense to handle Len nor the type of overall production that will challenge the streaking Terps.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Maryland 80, IUPUI 62
01/01 10:32:44 ET
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