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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 26, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gates Sports Center (2,700) -- Fort Wayne, Indiana. Television: None. Home Record: IUPUI 4-5. IPFW 7-2. Away Record: IUPUI 1-10, IPFW 1-10. Neutral Record: IUPUI 1-2, IPFW 1-1. Conference Record: IUPUI 1-8, IPFW 2-6. Series Record: IUPUI leads, 26-11.
GAMES NOTES: Instate rivals will collide on Saturday when the IUPUI Jaguars square off with the IUPU-Ft. Wayne Mastodons in a Summit League battle at Gates Sports Center.
Things haven't been going well of late for the Jaguars. After an 89-72 loss to Oakland on Thursday IUPUI has now lost seven straight contests. The recent loss drops the Jaguars to just 6-17 overall, with a miserable 1-8 mark against league foes, good for dead last in the conference standings. Playing away from home probably won't solve the problem as IUPUI is just 2-12 combined between home and neutral site contests. IUPUI will host conference-leading Western Illinois next.
The losses are beginning to pile up for IPFW as well with the Mastodons dropping their fourth contest in the last five on Thursday in a 43-40 loss to Western Illinois. The loss was just the second in nine chances at home for IPFW, which is now 9-13 overall on the season, while just ahead of IUPUI in the conference standings (2-6). This game wraps up a four-game homestand for IPFW which faces Nebraska-Omaha on the road next.
IUPUI already has a win against IPFW this season after an 88-74 triumph on Dec. 27. With the win IUPUI improved on its all-time series lead, which now stands at 26-11.
In its loss to Oakland, IUPUI didn't put up much of a fight defensively, especially on the perimeter. The Jaguars allowed the Golden Grizzlies to shoot at a 55.4 percent clip in the contest, while Oakland also dropped in 14 shots from beyond the arc. A 37-18 deficit on the boards didn't help either.
The Jaguars' season didn't get any easier when leading scorer John Hart (14.2 ppg) was lost for the remainder of the year after being declared ineligible for the spring semester. Adding on to the lack of scoring depth was the loss of Ian Chiles (10.2 ppg) who has been out since Jan. 10 with a toe injury. With those two out the pressure has been on Mitchell Patton (12.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg), who is the only other player on the roster scoring in double figures. Leading rebounder Donovan Gibbs (9.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg) has picked up his production on the offensive end, averaging 17.7 points per game over the last four games.
IPFW had plenty of chances to secure a win against Western Illinois but just couldn't get it done down the stretch. The Mastodons didn't allow the Leathernecks to score in the final 8:35 of the contest but misses on five of their last seven field goal attempts had their late rally come up short.
On the season IPFW has fought to about even on the scoreboard with a scoring margin of +0.4 on the year. The Mastodons have done so by being more successful defensively though as they hold teams to just 63.7 points per game despite an opponent field goal percentage of 44.5. On offense the Mastodons put in just 64.1 points per game on 41.4 percent shooting. Frank Gaines (18.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg) is the third-leading scorer in the Summit League although he had a streak of six games in double figures ended against Western Illinois when he scored eight points. Luis Jacobo (10.5 ppg) fills in as the second option thanks in part to his shooting from beyond the arc (.371 3P percentage). MArio Hines (8.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg) leads the team on the boards.
Even with how well Gibbs has been playing on both ends the Jaguars don't have enough depth with Hart and Chiles still out to reverse their fortunes on the road.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: IUPU-Ft. Wayne 67, IUPUI 62
01/26 10:32:31 ET
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