IUPU-Ft. Wayne (18-7) at North Dakota State (17-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 8, 5 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bison Sports Arena (6,000) -- Fargo, North Dakota. Television: FCS, Midco SN. Home Record: IPFW 11-1, North Dakota State 8-1. Away Record: IPFW 5-6, North Dakota State 8-5. Neutral Record: IPFW 2-0, North Dakota State 1-0. Conference Record: IPFW 6-2, North Dakota State 6-2. Series Record: IPFW leads, 9-8.
GAME NOTES: The IUPU-Ft. Wayne Mastodons had a three-game win streak snapped in their last outing on Thursday night, and they'll try to jump back into the win column as they travel to face the North Dakota State Bison in a Summit League clash at Bison Sports Arena.
IPFW was dropped by South Dakota State Thursday, 79-51, after having won three in a row and eight of its last nine altogether. The Mastodons are tied with their NDSU opponent, 6-2, at the top of the Summit League leaderboard entering Saturday's battle.
North Dakota State had a five-game win streak snapped last Saturday against Denver, but the Bison got back in the win column with a 66-60 triumph over IUPUI Thursday night in Fargo. The winner of this game Saturday will have sole possession of first place in the conference standings.
IPFW holds a very thin 9-8 all-time series lead over North Dakota State, thanks in large part to an 82-71 Mastodons victory over the Bison on Jan. 9 in Fort Wayne. NDSU has a chance to tie the series up in Fargo.
South Dakota State jumped ahead of IPFW early in the Mastodons' last outing. The Jackrabbits led 43-30 at the half and never looked back, cruising to a 28- point Summit League victory. Steve Forbes was the only IPFW player to score in double figures, netting 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the floor. Luis Jacobo and Michael Kibiloski each had nine points in the loss.
Jacobo still leads the Mastodons in scoring this season with a 14.9 ppg average on 46.8 percent shooting from the floor. Jacobo adds a 43.3 percent shooting mark from 3-point distance on the year. Forbes is second at 12 ppg, and Mo Evans checks in at third with an even 10 ppg. Pierre Bland leads the team with 103 assists on the season, and Joe Reed's 5.4 rpg total is first on the squad.
North Dakota State jumped ahead of IUPUI by six points in the first half, which ended up being the final margin of victory for the Bison. Lawrence Alexander scored 17 points for NDSU, while Taylor Braun netted 14, Jordan Aaberg chipped in 11 and Kory Brown added 10. The Bison accumulated 52 points in the paint against the Jaguars, and 20 points off turnovers. NDSU finished the game shooting 51.8 percent from the floor.
Braun leads the Bison in scoring this season with 18.3 ppg on 48 percent shooting. Braun's 88 assists on the year is a team high, along with his team- best 38 steals. Marshall Bjorklund is second in scoring at 14.1 ppg, and Alexander is third with 11.3 ppg. TrayVonn Wright leads the team with 5 rpg and is fourth in scoring at 11 ppg.
This contest between the top two Summit League teams should live up to its hype. Being that the game is in Fargo, the Bison should have an advantage, especially with the team's size and ability to score down low.
Sports Network predicted Outcome: North Dakota State 78, IPFW 74
02/08 10:15:05 ET