Nebraska Omaha (12-9) at IUPUI (5-18)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 1, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Jungle (1,215) -- Indianapolis, Indiana. Television: ESPN3. Home Record: Omaha 7-1, IUPUI 4-7. Away Record: Omaha 5-8, IUPUI 1-9. Neutral Record: Omaha 0-0, IUPUI 0-2. Conference Record: Omaha 2-4, IUPUI 0-6. Series Record: Nebraska Omaha leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The IUPUI Jaguars continue to search for a Summit League victory as they host the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks at The Jungle on Saturday.
Omaha lost its second game in three outings on Thursday when it suffered an 86-82 setback at IUPU-Fort Wayne. The loss dropped Omaha to a 12-9 overall record including a 2-4 Summit League mark. Coach Derrin Hansen's squad led the Mastodons by six points at the intermission before it was limited to 40 percent efficiency from the floor over the final 20 minutes of the contest. Although the Mavericks own a 5-8 record in true away games, they 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 9.2 ppg.
IUPUI has not had quite as positive a season as the visitors. The Jaguars own a 5-18 ledger overall entering Saturday's contest. The Jaguars have lost six consecutive games and have not posted a win against a Division I opponent since edging out NC Central in a 71-65 final in early December. Coach Todd Howard's team returned home on Thursday from a three-game road trip only to be defeated, 69-54, by Western Illinois.
This will be just the third meeting in history between these schools on the hardwood. Omaha swept last season's home-and-home series.
The Mavericks' high-powered offense was on display in their loss to IPFW as five players tallied eight points or more. Justin Simmons poured in a game- high 28 points for Omaha, which also received 19 points courtesy of John Karhoff. Devin Patterson chimed in with 12 points while Mike Rostampour grabbed 12 boards. C.J. Carter was held to eight points on 2-of-13 shooting from the floor, but has scored at least 15 points in three of his past five games to raise his scoring average to 13.7 ppg. The junior guard is also dealing out a team-best 3.5 apg. Rostampour is Omaha's top rebounder at 6.3 rpg and Karhoff is slightly in front of Carter in the scoring column at 13.9 ppg. Simmons made it clear the Mavericks have plenty of options offensively beyond Karhoff and Carter, which is why they are ranked 24th nationally in points per game (81 ppg) and also 26th in assists per game (15.8).
IUPUI was dominated by WIU on the glass as the Leathernecks finished with a 35-23 edge in total rebounds. Ja'Rob McCallum tallied 18 points and three steals for the Jaguars in the loss. The Jaguars were without Ian Chiles, who is the third-leading scorer in The Summit at 15.9 ppg. Mitch Patton, who contributed 10 points and two blocks on Thursday, is the second option with 12.4 ppg. Junior Khufu Najee went 7-of-9 from the field for 14 points against the Leathernecks and has scored 17 ppg since Chiles was relegated to the bench with a hand injury.
IUPUI had no answer for WIU in its last outing. The Mavericks have a lot more firepower and play at a very fast pace, which could spell bad news for the hosts. The Jaguars are not athletic or deep enough to run up and down with Omaha for 40 minutes, so they will be in trouble if they can not slow down the game to frustrate the visitors.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Nebraska Omaha 87, IUPUI 69
02/01 10:14:48 ET