Western Illinois (15-4) at IUPU-Fort Wayne (9-12)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 24, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hilliard Gates Sports Center (2,000) -- Fort Wayne,
Indiana. Television: None. Home Record: WIU 9-1, IPFW 7-1. Away Record: WIU
4-3, IPFW 1-10. Neutral Record: WIU 2-0, IPFW 1-1. Conference Record: WIU 7-1,
IPFW 2-5. Series Record: IUPU-Fort Wayne leads, 10-5.
GAME NOTES: The Western Illinois Leathernecks look to stay atop the Summit
League standings as they visit Hilliard Gates Sports Center to take on the
IUPU-Fort Wayne Mastodons.
IPFW leads the all-time series over WIU, 10-5. Earlier this season, the
Leathernecks defeated IPFW at home, 62-50, to notch their third consecutive
win in the rivalry.
WIU is coming off a big, 50-42, victory over North Dakota State that tied it
with the Bison atop the Summit League standings. The Leathernecks have won 12
of their past 13 games to rise to a 15-4 overall record, giving them their
best start to the season since the 1957-58 campaign. Western Illinois has lost
only one game at home this season, winning nine inside Western Hall. All the
success has come through a tremendous defensive effort. Coach Jim Molinari's
squad is limiting its opposition to a mere 52.1 ppg, which is the fourth
lowest mark in the nation. WIU is netting just 61.6 ppg itself.
North Dakota State is a decent offensive unit, but it did not appear to be
against the Leathernecks, who limited it to 28 points below its second average
and just 34 percent shooting from the field. Ceola Clark III led WIU with 13
points and Remy Roberts-Burnett chipped in 11. Terell Parks, who paces the
team in both scoring (13.5) and rebounding (9.2), had a quiet offensive
performance but made it for it by rejecting five shots. Clark III contributes
11.5 points and 4.2 assists, while Adam Links provides an additional 9.8 ppg.
Clark III is a big reason why WIU is so tough defensively and his 219 career
steals are by far the most in school history.
The Mastodons were defeated for the third time in four outings on Saturday,
falling 63-59, to UMKC at home. The setback bumped IPFW down to a 2-5 mark in
Summit League play. Frank Gaines led the Mastodons with 17 points. Mario Hines
scored 13 and Joe Reed had 10 points as IPFW lost for the first time at home
in eight games this season.
IPFW is slightly better on the offensive end than the visitors as it posts
65.3 ppg. The team's biggest strength is on the boards, as it leads the Summit
League with 35.5 rebounds per tilt. Gaines is in a slump right now from
distance as he is 3-of-18 from beyond the arc over his past four games.
Regardless, the senior guard has been a consistent net scorcher this season,
scoring 18.5 ppg. Luis Jacobo joins him in double-figures scoring with 10.7
ppg, while Hines provides an inside presence with 8.7 points and 5.6 rebounds
Gaines will continue to struggle against the Leathernecks' swarming defensive
rotation. Since IPFW lacks another consistent scorer, it will fail to match
the output of Clark, Parks, and company.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Western Illinois 64, IUPU-Fort Wayne 58
01/24 10:32:58 ET