IUPU-Fort Wayne (15-16) vs. Oakland (16-15)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, March 10, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Sioux Falls Arena (7,500) -- Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Television: FCS, Midco Sports. Home Record: IPFW 10-4, Oakland 10-2. Away
Record: IPFW 4-11, Oakland 6-13. Neutral Record: IPFW 1-1, Oakland 0-0.
Conference Record: IPFW 7-9, Oakland 10-6. Series Record: Oakland leads, 16-5.
GAME NOTES: The quarterfinal round of the Summit League Tournament continues
on Sunday night, as the fifth-seeded IUPU-Fort Wayne Mastodons take on the
Oakland Golden Grizzlies at Sioux Falls Arena.
The winner will advance to Monday's semifinals to tangle with top-seeded South
IPFW appeared to be one of the Summit League's worst teams for most of the
season, but it has gotten hot at the perfect time, winning five straight games
to close out the campaign to climb to 15-16 overall and 7-9 in conference.
Oakland found the hot hand in late-January through mid-February with seven
straight wins, but it is backing into this tournament with losses in two of
its last three games, which both came, oddly enough, against IPFW. The
Grizzlies still enjoyed a solid season, as they sit at 16-15 and finished the
Summit League campaign at 10-6.
Although the Grizzlies still lead the all-time series, 16-5, IPFW had
Oakland's number this season, winning both matchups, including the regular-
season finale on the road, 74-72. The back-and-forth contest consisted of 15
ties and 13 lead changes, but IPFW had the final say when Frank Gaines drained
the game-winning jumper with 1:12 left. Gaines finished with 20 points, just
behind Luis Jacobo, who poured in 21 on 5-of-11 from 3-point range. Joe
Edwards (11 points) and Mario Hines (nine rebounds) were solid in reserve
roles in the winning effort. For Oakland, Drew Valentine paced five teammates
in double figures with 15 points to go with eight rebounds. Corey Petros
tallied 14 points and nine boards, Travis Bader had 12 points but on just 1-
of-11 accuracy from 3-point range, while Dante Williams and Duke Mondy
contributed 11 points apiece.
IPFW's offensive attack (66.6 ppg) ranks near the bottom of the league,
although it is oftentimes saved by strong defensive play, as it ranks third in
the league in giving up just 65.6 ppg. Gaines is the Summit's third-leading
scorer with 19.5 ppg, and he is one of the most active foul shooters in the
nation (171-of-231, .740). Jacobo brings 11.3 ppg to the table on 64-of-168
from beyond the arc (.381).
Oakland is led by the efforts of Bader, who ranks second in the league and
fifth in the nation in scoring with 22.0 ppg, and although his overall field
goal percentage hasn't been great (.395), his 131 3-pointers are the most in
the country. Petros takes some of the pressure off of Bader by manning the
paint with 12.6 ppg (on 56.5 percent from the field) and 8.2 rpg. Mondy pours
in 12.1 ppg and leads the league in assists with 5.7 per game, and Valentine
(10.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg) and Ryan Bass (9.1 ppg) round out the balanced attack. As
a team, the Grizzlies have no problem scoring (73.7 ppg), but they actually
give up more to their opponents (74.0 ppg).
While the Grizzlies have been the more impressive team this season, after
losing to IPFW twice in the past three weeks, it's a good assumption that the
Mastodons are in their heads. IPFW has a lot of confidence coming into this
matchup as it is riding its hottest stretch of the season, and the squad seems
to have the formula to take down Oakland.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: IUPU-Fort Wayne 73, Oakland 72
03/10 10:32:05 ET