North Dakota State (11-4) at IUPU-Ft. Wayne (12-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 9, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gates Sports Center (2,300) -- Fort Wayne, Indiana. Television: None. Home Record: North Dakota State 5-1, IPFW 6-1. Away Record: North Dakota State 5-3, IPFW 4-4. Neutral Record: North Dakota State 1-0, IPFW 2-0. Conference Record: North Dakota State 0-0, IPFW 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 8-8.
GAME NOTES: The North Dakota State Bison look to extend a four-game winning streak as they travel to Fort Wayne to face the IPFW Mastodons in Summit League action on Thursday.
North Dakota State is playing like a team on fire at this point of the season, winning four in a row and nine of its last 10. The only loss the Bison suffered in the run was a Dec. 14 matchup with No. 3-ranked Ohio State. NDSU is coming off a 96-45 rout of Mayville State Saturday.
IPFW has won two in a row and six of its last seven contests, sporting a 12-5 overall record as the team gets set to take on its first conference opponent this season. The Mastodons are coming off a 110-74 blowout of Kalamazoo in Fort Wayne.
The all-time series is knotted 8-8 between these two programs. The Bison swept the two meetings with the Mastodons last season, and have won three of the last four against IPFW.
North Dakota State jumped out to an early lead in the contest against Mayville State and never looked back, not trailing once in the game. The Bison were led by Mike Felt, who netted a game-high 30 points in the victory on 10-of-16 shooting from the floor. Carlin Dupree added 13 points and four rebounds, while Marshall Bjorklund (11) and Dexter Werner (10) completed the quartet of double-digit scorers. The Bison didn't allow one Mayville State player to record a point total in the double digits.
Bjorklund is second this season on the team in scoring with 15 ppg, while the Bison are led by Taylor Braun at 18.9 ppg. It was only the second game of the season for Werner, who in two games is averaging 11 ppg and 8 rpg. TrayVonn Wright brings down a healthy 5 rpg for the Bison this season, and is first on the roster with 27 blocked shots. As a unit, the Bison average an impressive 79.8 ppg.
Against Kalamazoo, six Mastodons recorded double-digit scoring numbers as IPFW ran away with a 110-74 victory against the overmatched Hornets. Joe Reed and Luis Jacobo each scored 18 points to pace the Mastodons in scoring, while Mo Evans added 15 on 5-of-9 shooting, all from 3-point range. Steve Forbes netted 12 points and grabbed a team-high five rebounds in the contest, and Pierre Bland added 12 of his own with a team-high nine assists. The Mastodons shot 64.4 percent from the floor in the blowout win.
Jacobo leads the team in scoring this season with 14 ppg, followed by Forbes at 11.5 ppg. IPFW averages 78.8 ppg as a team, thanks to six players averaging over 8 ppg scoring this year. Reed paces the IPFW squad with 5.6 rpg. The Mastodons are shooting 49.8 percent from the floor this season, including 41.1 percent from 3-point distance. They're outscoring their opponents by nearly a 10-point average, holding the opposition to 69.6 ppg.
This matchup promises to be an intriguing one with two of the top teams in the Summit League. Playing at home will have its advantages for IPFW, as its strong scoring defense will be challenged by the Bison.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: IUPU-Ft. Wayne 78, North Dakota State 74
01/09 10:39:00 ET