Bradley (2-0) at IUPUI (2-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 17, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: IUPUI Gymnasium (1,215) -- Indianapolis, Indiana. Television: CSN-CHI. Home Record: Bradley 2-0, IUPUI 1-0. Away Record: Bradley 0-0, IUPUI 0-1. Neutral Record: Bradley 0-0, IUPUI 1-0. Conference Record: Bradley 0-0, IUPUI 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.
GAME NOTES: The Bradley Braves take their undefeated record to Indianapolis, as they are set to square off with the IUPUI Jaguars on Saturday evening.
Bradley began its campaign with back-to-back home wins against Eastern Illinois (76-53) and Texas-Pan American (78-61), and it will try to move to 3-0 for the third straight year. The Braves will have a major hurdle to jump over however, as they have dropped 24 of their last 27 road games, including 11 in a row.
After starting the season with a 67-54 home win over Utah Valley, IUPUI shifted to the NIT Season Tip-Off in Ann Arbor, where it lost to national power Michigan (91-54), before winning a consolation match against Bowling Green (80-66).
These teams have split two previous meetings against each other, with Bradley winning in 2000, and IUPUI earning a victory two years later.
Bradley finished last season on a streak of 13 consecutive games without scoring 70 points, so it's high-point totals and 52.8 percent field goal shooting on the young season is definitely a welcomed sign. In addition to a strong shooting effort against UTPA, the Braves stepped up at the defensive end as well by holding their opponent to 38.2 percent efficiency from the floor while turning 18 turnovers into 26 points. It was a balanced effort from the home team, as six different players scored at least nine points and nobody took more than 10 shots. Will Egolf and Walt Lemon, Jr. led the way with 14 points apiece, while the latter also handed out six assists. Bradley's ball movement as a whole was outstanding, as it recorded 22 assists on 27 field goals. Dyricus Simms-Edwards added 11 points, seven boards and four steals, and Jake Eastman chipped in with 10 points. Through two games, seven Braves players average between 7.5 and 13.0 ppg.
Even with a tough matchup against Michigan thrown in, IUPUI has boasted solid offensive stats in the early going as it is shooting 45.3 percent from the floor while putting up 67.0 ppg. By far its best effort of the season came the last time out in the win over Bowling Green, as the team connected on 29-of-48 attempts from the field, including 7-of-15 from three-point range, en route to the 14-point win. Mitchell Patton shined in the victory with a career-high 27 points to go along with 13 rebounds, and he sits at 17.0 ppg on more than 63 percent field goal shooting on the season. Greg Rice was nearly perfect from the field (6-of-7) on his way to 21 points, which was also a career-high. Donovan Gibbs also tallied a double-double with 10 points and 13 boards, and Jordan Shanklin (12 points) came off the bench and drilled all three of his attempts from beyond the arc. The Jaguars have done a good job taking care of the ball so far, winning the turnover battle by a plus-0.7 margin per game.
Bradley should be encouraged by its start, but it needs to prove that it can win on the road before it is considered a threat in the Missouri Valley Conference. IUPUI has a sneaky good squad, and in The Jungle, as it playfully calls its home arena, it will move to 3-1.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: IUPUI 75, Bradley 70
11/17 10:34:58 ET