IUPUI (6-13) at Nebraska Omaha (4-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 10, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ralston Arena (3,500) -- Omaha, Nebraska. Television:
None. Home Record: IUPUI 4-3, Omaha 3-2. Away Record: IUPUI 1-8, Omaha 0-11.
Neutral Record: IUPUI 1-2, Omaha 1-1. Conference Record: IUPUI 1-4, Omaha 1-5.
Series Record: First meeting.
GAME NOTES: The IUPUI Jaguars look to bounce back from a tough loss as they
venture to Ralston Arena for a Summit League bout against the conference's
The Jaguars saw their losing streak extended to three games on Saturday as
they fell in overtime by four points at Western Illinois. The setback lowered
IUPUI to a 6-13 overall record with an early 1-4 mark to recover from in
Summit League action. It will not be easy to do so for the Jaguars at Ralston
Arena, as they are just 1-8 in true road games. Despite being seven games
below .500, IUPUI is still outscoring its opponents by 0.8 points per game.
Omaha's first tour of the league has not been a pleasant journey so far. The
Mavericks saw their conference record fall to 1-5 on Saturday as they were
routed, 96-78, by IUPU-Fort Wayne on the road. The return home could not hurt,
as they are 3-2 on their own floor compared to 0-11 in away games. The poor
overall results for Omaha this season stems from its inability to limit its
opposition, which is producing 82.9 ppg.
This will be the first meeting on the hardwood in history between these
IUPUI appeared to be headed towards its second Summit League decision of the
year on Saturday as it held a 28-16 lead at halftime after limiting Western
Illinois to just 28 percent shooting from the field. The Leathernecks started
the second half hot and took a 37-36 lead with just over 10 minutes remaining
in regulation. With Western Illinois leading, 45-43, in the waning seconds,
Lyonell Gaines converted a layup for IUPUI to tie the game and force overtime,
where the Leathernecks prevailed. John Hart came off the bench to net 14
points, while Sean Esposito and Greg Rice put up 11 and 10 points,
respectively. Hart, a Purdue transfer, paces the team with 14.2 ppg. Mitchell
Patton is also carrying a double-digit scoring average of 13.1 points to go
along with his 5.1 boards per outing.
The Mavericks' weaknesses on the defensive end were exposed in their loss to
IPFW. The Mastodons came into the contest averaging 65.1 ppg with a 40.8 field
goal percentage, but they exploded for 96 points on 50 percent shooting from
the floor, including a deadly 14-of-24 mark from 3-point range. Omaha also
sent IPFW to the charity stripe an overwhelming amount, allowing it to produce
26 additional points. Junior guard Justin Simmons paced Omaha with 24 points,
shooting 11-of-18 from the field, while adding a team-leading six rebounds.
Simmons enters Thursday with a three-game streak of 20-plus point efforts
which has raised his scoring average to 14.6 ppg. Freshman guard Marcus Tyus
poured in a season-high 20 points in the loss to IPFW.
Both these teams are going to be hungry for a victory in this one. Omaha is
going to need to do a much better job on the glass or it may not win another
game this season. Hart can be very dangerous for IUPUI due to his 3-point
shooting ability. If he gets into a rhythm, Omaha's lackadaisical defense will
be in trouble.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: IUPUI 76, Nebraska Omaha 69
01/10 10:34:11 ET
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