Nebraska-Omaha (10-5) at Western Illinois (6-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 11, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Western Hall (5,139) -- Macomb, Illinois.
Television: CSS, CSN-HOU. Home Record: Nebraska-Omaha 6-0, WIU 4-1. Away
Record: Nebraska-Omaha 4-5, WIU 0-7. Neutral Record: Nebraska-Omaha 0-0, WIU
2-1. Conference Record: Nebraska-Omaha 0-0, WIU 0-0. Series Record: Western
Illinois leads, 7-3.
GAME NOTES: The Western Illinois Leathernecks and the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks
will kick off their respective Summit League schedules, as they do battle at
Western Hall on Saturday night.
The Mavericks are in the midst of a five-game road trip, having split the
first two stops of the tour, with a win against Central Arkansas (104-88)
and a loss to Hawaii (77-73). Omaha is now 10-5 overall, including a 4-5 mark
away from home. Road tilts against North Dakota State and South Dakota State
are next, before the Mavericks return home to Ralston Arena.
For Western Illinois, this contest is the finale of a quick homestand. The
Leathernecks dropped the first part in a 78-67 decision against William &
Mary. They have now lost three of their last four games, and are just 6-9 on
the campaign. South Dakota State and North Dakota State are also the next
opponents for the Leathernecks.
Western Illinois has a pair of matchups in each of the last two seasons, and
leads the all-time series as a result, 7-3.
Omaha led by as many as nine points in the second half against Hawaii, but the
wheels came off down the stretch. The Mavericks shot just 42.3 percent from
the field over the final 20 minutes, including an 0-of-9 effort from beyond
the arc, after outscoring the Rainbow Warriors, 15-3, from 3-point range in
the opening half.
Normally the Mavericks are an extremely efficient offensive team. They shoot
46 percent from the floor and are currently ranked 19th in the nation in
scoring (84.1 ppg), doing so thanks to 17 assists per game. Pounding the glass
is also an area of strength, with the Mavericks actually leading the Summit
League in rebounding (36 rpg). CJ Carter (14.6 ppg, 3.6 apg) and Devin
Patterson (12.3 ppg, 3.9 apg) form a solid duo in the backcourt with their
ability to score and distribute. John Karhoff (13.7 ppg) is the top performer
down low, while Mike Rostampour (7.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg) and Marcus Matt Hagerbaumer
(4.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg) come up with their share of loose balls.
Garret Covington poured in a game-high 26 points for Western Illinois, but it
wasn't enough against William & Mary as the Tribe prevailed by nine points.
The Leathernecks were outscored both from beyond the arc (36-27) and at the
free-throw line (18-10), which canceled out a 50 percent overall shooting
Western Illinois is nowhere near as productive as Omaha, as the team is
scoring only 61.4 ppg and hitting 45.8 percent of its field goal attempts.
However, that is a product of the slower pace they prefer, as they are also
holding foes to a mere 59.1 ppg and 40.2 percent shooting. Covington (13 ppg)
and Adam Link (10.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg) are the only real scoring threats on the
roster. Covington has reached double figures in four of the last five games,
and has scored at least 20 points three times. Link is hoping to bounce back
from his effort against William & Mary, which yielded just two points on 1-
If the Leathernecks can force Omaha to play a grinding pace, they will have a
major advantage beyond the benefits of playing at home. However, WIU has only
two wins against teams at the Division I level. Expect the battle-tested
Mavericks to find a way to win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Nebraska-Omaha 67, Western Illinois 60
01/11 12:38:23 ET
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