Denver (12-11) at IUPUI (5-21)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 13, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Jungle (1,215) -- Indianapolis, Indiana. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: UD 7-4, IUPUI 4-8. Away Record: UD 4-5, IUPUI 1-11. Neutral Record: UD 1-2, IUPUI 0-2. Conference Record: UD 5-3, IUPUI 0-9. Series Record: Denver leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: Hoping to finally post a win in conference play, the IUPUI Pioneers host the Denver Jaguars in a Summit League matchup at The Jungle.
Denver comes into this contest having won its last two and five of its last six overall. In their last outing, the Pioneers downed South Dakota, 75-67, on Saturday afternoon.
The struggling Jaguars have lost nine straight. They fell to South Dakota State on Saturday night, 83-59.
This is just the second meeting all-time between these two schools. Denver won the first matchup at home on Jan. 18, 66-45.
Brett Olson poured in a career-high 30 points, shooting 6-of-8 behind the 3- point line, as the Pioneers pulled out a 75-67 win over the South Dakota Coyotes. Olson, who made good on 9-of-14 shots from the floor, was a perfect 6-of-6 at the free-throw line. Cam Griffin pitched in with 14 points and nine rebounds, followed by Marcus Byrd with 11 points off the bench. The game featured just two ties and two lead changes, so for Denver to turn the ball over only five times was crucial to the outcome.
On the season, Denver does not impress in the offensive zone, shooting 45.7 percent from the field for a mere 66.0 ppg, but it has remained competitive thanks to a stellar scoring defense (63.3 ppg, second in the Summit). It is also aided by a +2.5 turnover margin and a strong free-throw percentage (.740). Olson is the offensive star with 15.3 ppg on 43.0 percent efficiency from beyond the arc and 93 percent at the foul line. Chris Udofia is a well- rounded forward with 12.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.8 apg, 2.7 bpg and 1.6 spg, while Jalen Love (9.3 ppg) and Griffin (8.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg) are also key pieces to the puzzle.
Khufu Najee notched a game-high 19 points for the Jaguars in the loss to South Dakota State. Mitch Patton also contributed 12 points before fouling out. The Jaguars struggled to get going, shooting 30.8 percent from the field in the opening half and allowed the Jackrabbits to convert 48.2 percent. IUPUI trailed 42-27 at halftime and never challenged after the break.
IUPUI's lackluster season is evident on the stat sheet, as it shoots 43.6 percent from the field for just 67.6 ppg, while allowing a conference-worst 74.3 ppg on 45.7 percent shooting at the other end. Things have been especially rough without leading scorer Ian Chiles (15.9 ppg), who has missed the past five games with a hand injury. Patton (12.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg) has taken over as the primary scorer in Chiles' absence, with Najee (10.1 ppg) and Ja'Rob McCallum (9.7 ppg) not far behind.
With the Jaguars yet to record a win in conference play this season, the desperation is mounting in Indianapolis, but without consistent scoring options, there is little they can do to change their luck. Although the Pioneers lack scoring punch, they do play stellar defense, so look for them to squeak out a victory in a low-scoring affair.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Denver 66, IUPUI 63
02/13 10:18:19 ET