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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 3, 7 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: O'rena (3,000) -- Rochester, Michigan. Television: None. Home Record: UNO 3-2, Oakland 3-0. Away Record: UNO 0-9, Oakland 3-9. Neutral Record: UNO 1-1, Oakland 0-0. Conference Record: UNO 1-3, Oakland 1-1. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Oakland Golden Grizzlies kick off the new year at the Athletics Center O'rena for a Summit League clash with the visiting Nebraska Omaha Mavericks.
UNO, which is in its second year as a Division I member, earned its first Summit League ever on New Year's Eve with a 77-65 victory over Kansas City. However, that decision came at home, and the Mavericks will now try to win on the road for the first time in 10 tries this season.
That certainly won't come easy against an Oakland squad that is riding an eight-game home winning streak, and has won 35 of its last 38 league games at the O'rena. The Golden Grizzlies are playing only their fourth home bout of the 2012-13 campaign, and they are coming off an 84-62 win at IUPUI last Saturday.
This clash marks the first-ever meeting between these new Summit League foes.
Mavericks sophomore guard C.J. Carter poured in a game- and career-high 26 points in the recent win over UMKC, as he shot an efficient 10-of-12 from the floor. Backcourt mate Justin Simmons chipped in with 20 points behind a 5-of-9 effort from the perimeter, while Alex Welhouse recorded his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. As a team, Omaha shot 10-of-22 beyond the arc (.455) while also forcing 18 turnovers. The Mavericks' 10 treys represented their second-highest total in a game this season. Simmons leads the team with 13.4 ppg, followed by John Karhoff with 11.5 ppg. The Mavs' defense has left much to be desired, as opponents are shooting 48.5 percent from the floor, 37 percent from beyond the arc, and are averaging a ridiculous 81.6 ppg.
Oakland boasts a potent offensive weapon in sharpshooter Travis Bader, who leads the country with 60 3-point buckets (.400). Bader also paces the Summit League in free-throw percentage (.900) and is second in scoring (20.3 ppg). Corey Petros is posting 13.3 points and a team-best 7.7 rebounds per tilt, while Duke Mondy rounds out the double-digit scorers with 11.7 ppg. Mondy has tallied a league-best 43 steals, which was also one behind the national leader entering the week. Against IUPUI, Drew Valentine (8.5 ppg) logged a career- high seven steals, marking the fourth-best single-game effort in school history. Bader headlined the offense with a game-high 27 points, as OU shot 52.8 percent from the floor while holding IUPUI to 37.7 percent.
Bader has to be licking his chops at the prospects of getting many open looks against UNO's awfully generous defense. The Golden Grizzlies have won eight in a row at home, and that streak is unlikely to end here.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oakland 90, Nebraska Omaha 78
01/03 10:43:23 ET