Nebraska Omaha (12-8) at IUPU-Fort Wayne (16-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 30, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gates Sports Center (2,700) -- Fort Wayne, Indiana. Television: None. Home Record: Omaha 7-1, IPFW 9-1. Away Record: Omaha 5-7, IPFW 5-5. Neutral Record: Omaha 0-0, IPFW 2-0. Conference Record: Omaha 2-3, IPFW 4-1. Series Record: IUPU-Fort Wayne leads, 3-1.
GAME NOTES: The IUPU-Fort Wayne Mastodons will try to protect their first place position in the Summit League race as they host the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks at the Gates Sports Center on Thursday.
The Mavericks are coming off of a 77-73 victory over South Dakota which lifted them to a 12-8 overall record including a 2-3 Summit League mark. Omaha trailed the Coyotes by five points at the intermission before it knocked down 7-of-12 attempts in the second half to overcome the narrow deficit. Coach Derrin Hansen's team will now look to improve upon its 5-7 record in true away games. The Mavericks have already surpassed their win total from 2012-13. Their wins have come by an average of 17.3 ppg and their eight losses have been by an average of 9.9 ppg.
IPFW bounced back from its inaugural loss in conference action with a 90-75 victory over IUPUI on Saturday. The Mastodons used a 25-8 run in the first half that gave them a 44-29 advantage at the break and connected on 6-of-12 attempts from beyond the arc in the second half to protect their advantage on the scoreboard. Coach Tony Jasick's team is tied with North Dakota State atop the league standings with a 4-1 record.
This will be just the fifth meeting in history between these schools on the hardwood. IPFW owns a 3-1 all-time series lead although it was defeated, 86-79, by the Mavericks in the most recent head-to-head on Jan. 31, 2013.
C.J. Carter finished with 18 points and five assists for Omaha on Saturday in its come-from-behind triumph over USD. Justin Simmons added 16 points to help the Mavericks pick up their second victory in three outings. Mike Rostampour scored 10 points and came up one rebound shy of a double-double while Marcus Tyus provided a spark off the bench with 12 points. Carter has scored at least 15 points in three of his past four games to raise his scoring average to a team-high 14 ppg. The junior guard is also dealing out a team-best 3.4 apg. Rostampour is Omaha's top rebounder at 6.1 rpg. The Mavericks have plenty of options offensively beyond Carter, which is why they are ranked 24th nationally in points per game (81 ppg) and also 25th in assists per game (15.9).
The Mastodons used a collective effort to outlast the Jaguars over the weekend. Luis Jacobo spearheaded the charge with 19 points while Pierre Bland filled the stat sheet with 16 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Steve Forbes also scored 16 points, Michael Kibiloski finished with 14 points and Mo Evans chimed in with 10. Jacobo is pacing the team on the season in the scoring column at 15.1 ppg and Forbes has made 61.7 percent of his shots from the floor for 11.9 ppg. IPFW is posting 78.3 ppg thanks to its 49.6 percent efficiency from the floor, which is the ninth best field-goal percentage among Division I programs.
This matchup will most likely be a shootout as both sides are very explosive on the offensive end. The Mavericks have not been quite as dangerous away from home and IPFW has not lost at the Gates Sports Center this month. Although Omaha is capable of stealing one on the road, the Mavericks will struggle containing the trio of Jacobo, Forbes and Bland.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: IUPU-Fort Wayne 81, Nebraska Omaha 77
01/30 10:34:08 ET