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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, December 10, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Assembly Hall (17,472) -- Bloomington, Indiana. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Oakland 2-0, IU 6-0. Away Record: Oakland 0-6, IU 0-1. Neutral Record: Oakland 0-1, IU 1-1. Conference Record: Oakland 0-0, IU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Indiana Hoosiers wrap up a two-game homestand on Tuesday night, as they take on the Oakland Golden Grizzlies in non-conference action.
After opening the season with seven straight games away from home, all losses, Oakland finally returned to the Athletics Center O'rena and notched two straight wins. The Grizzlies beat Rochester College on Nov. 30 (86-51), and followed that up with a 73-56 win over Ohio University, and while they venture out on the road for this matchup, they'll enjoy a five-game homestand starting on Dec. 14.
Indiana captured an easy 89-68 victory over North Florida last Saturday to improve to 7-2 this season, but it has failed to join the ranks of the nation's elite by losing a pair of games to top-quality opponents. After falling to UConn on Nov. 22 in the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden (59-58), the Hoosiers dropped another big test at Syracuse on Dec. 3, losing their ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup, 69-52.
The Grizzlies and Hoosiers have never before met on the hardwood.
After playing to a 25-25 tie after one half of their latest game, the Grizzlies pulled away from Ohio after intermission by shooting 15-of-31 from the field, 6-of-9 from 3-point range, and 12-of-14 from the free-throw line over the final 20 minutes. Pacing six players in double figures was Duke Mondy and Kahlil Felder with 13 points apiece, while Mondy grabbed nine boards and Felder dished out seven assists. Corey Petros, Travis Bader and Dante Williams each netted 12 points, while Mitch Baenziger rounded out the balanced attack with 11 points. Oakland's scoring output this season has been modest at best, as it shoots less than 42 percent from the field for 70.2 points per game, which is 5.2 points fewer than it allows. Bader (21.1 ppg) is one of the nation's most active shooters from 3-point range (40-of-98). Petros mans the paint with 11.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, while Mondy (11.7 ppg) is a great perimeter defender with 4.2 steals per tilt.
The Hoosiers opened up a 17-point lead over UNF at the break and put the game on autopilot from there, shooting 46.4 percent from the floor while boasting strong margins in both the rebounding (49-40) and turnover (17-11) battles. Evan Gordon provided a spark off the bench with 15 points on 7-of-9 from the field. Kevin Ferrell tallied 14 points and seven assists, Noah Vonleh posted a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Jeremy Hollowell chipped in 12 points. For the season, Indiana scores nearly 83 points per game on 45.6 percent efficiency from the field, although it would like to see its 3-point percentage improve (.288). The team also plays solid defense (67.0 ppg), and is one of the nation's best rebounding teams with a +15.0 advantage. Ferrell (17.0 ppg) is the club's top scoring option, and at 23-of-56 from beyond the arc, he has drained more than half of the team's 3-pointers. Vonleh (13.3 ppg, 10.0 rpg) is a nightly double-double threat, while Will Sheehey and Hollowell both chip in 9.7 points per game.
Although Oakland has played better of late, it has proven to be much worse on the road than at home, and it will be hard-pressed to make this one a contest against an impressive Hoosiers' squad that has yet to lose at home this season.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Indiana 93, Oakland 66
12/10 10:31:02 ET