IUPU-Fort Wayne (2-1) at Eastern Michigan (2-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 17, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (8,800) -- Ypsilanti, Michigan. Television: Station. Home Record: IPFW 0-0, EMU 2-0. Away Record: IPFW 0-0, EMU 0-1. Neutral Record: IPFW 0-0, EMU 0-0. Conference Record: IPFW 0-0, EMU 0-0. Series Record: Eastern Michigan leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The IUPU-Fort Wayne Mastadons and Eastern Michigan Eagles will both try to carry the momentum they established previously as they meet in the second segment of the EMU "Ice Man" Classic.
The Mastadons may be winded after playing in the longest game in EMU's Convocation Center history on Friday. Despite a lackadaisical shooting performance in its opening game of the round-robin tournament, IPFW outlasted Texas-Pan American for 97-94 triple-overtime victory to improve to 2-1 on the young season. The Mastadons need to improve their shooting after making only 36.1 percent of their field goal attempts, including a poor 5-of-26 mark from three-point range. They also converted just 32-of-57 free-throw attempts in the victory.
The Eagles rallied back from a eight-point deficit with 10 minutes left on the clock to defeat Eastern Illinois, 60-52, on Friday in the opening round of this event. EMU shot just 28.6 percent from the floor in the first half, but drilled 50 percent of its field goal attempts after intermission to improve to 2-1 on the season.
This will be just the third meeting in history between these two programs. Eastern Michigan earned a 62-61 decision in the last encounter, which took place on Dec. 31, 2006 in Ypsilanti.
The Mastadons have one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the nation in senior Frank Gaines. The senior guard increased his NCAA leading streak of games with 20 or more points to nine on Friday by netting a game-high 30 points. Gaines is not the only player on IPFW's roster that is producing at a high level this season. Both senior forward Mario Hines (17 points, 13 rebounds) and junior guard Kevin Harden (12 points, 12 rebounds) registered double-doubles on Friday. Luis Jacobo, Herbert Graham and Isaiah McCray contributed 29 points between them on Friday. McCray's quickness was a huge asset versus UTPA as he sealed the victory with two steals in the final three seconds of action.
EMU was forced to find a new leader in 2012-13 following the graduation of Darrell Lampley. It appears to have found a pair of capable replacements in Derek Thompson and Daylen Harrison. Thompson led the way in Friday's win over EIU with 22 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the floor, which was mostly made up of his 5-of-12 mark from beyond the arc. The strong performance raised his scoring average to 15 ppg. Harrison is now averaging 14.3 ppg after riding a perfect 11-of-11 showing at the charity stripe to 18 points his last time out. The Wyoming transfer has inside-outside scoring ability. Junior forward Glenn Bryant and freshman point guard Jalen Ross will start to see many more open shots with the talented tandem of Thompson and Harrison commanding opposing defenses' attention.
Both sides showed heart and toughness in the opening round of this event. IPFW has the talent to hand the Eagles their first home loss of the season, but it will need to overcome the unavoidable fatigue that will result from Friday's triple-overtime thriller.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: IUPU-Fort Wayne 66, Eastern Michigan 63
11/17 10:32:57 ET