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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 2, 7:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Jungle (1,215) -- Indianapolis, Indiana. Television: None. Home Record: UMKC 2-11, IUPUI 4-9. Away Record: UMKC 3-10, IUPUI 1-13. Neutral Record: UMKC 2-1, IUPUI 1-2. Conference Record: UMKC 4-11, IUPUI 1-14. Series Record: IUPUI leads, 19-15.
GAMES NOTES: The two worst teams in the Summit League will match up in the regular-season finale on Saturday when the UMKC Kangaroos square off with the IUPUI Jaguars at the Jungle.
At 7-23 overall and 4-11 in league action, UMKC has been one of the more disappointing teams in the Summit League this season. The Kangaroos are riding a four-game losing streak into this contest but at least have a spot guaranteed in the upcoming conference tournament. UMKC could even improve itself to the No. 7 seed if it can secure a win on Saturday and South Dakota loses.
This season has also been a severe disappointment for IUPUI which is even worse than UMKC with an overall record of 6-24 and just one win in 14 league bouts. Since only eight teams of the nine-squad conference make it to the league tournament, the Jaguars, who have lost 14 straight, have already sealed there fate as they will not be moving into the postseason.
UMKC thrashed IUPUI on the inside as it outscored the Jaguars 42-18 in the paint en route to a 79-65 victory in the first meeting this season. The win was the second straight for the Kangaroos who still trail the all-time series, 19-15.
In its fourth straight loss on Thursday, UMKC surrendered an 18-point lead against Western Illinois. The Kangaroos scored only 11 points in the second half to fall 53-30. A 15-2 run in the second half turned a 10-point advantage for the Kangaroos into a three-point deficit and they were never able to recover.
UMKC has suffered from a sizable negative scoring margin this season (-9.8) by failing to be efficient at either end. The Kangaroos are second to last in the league in points scored (61.5 pg), while last in the league in assists (9.8 pg) and field-goal percentage (.426). On defense teams are shooting nearly 48 percent from the floor against UMKC. Estan Tyler (11.6 ppg, 3.0 apg) is the lone double-figure scorer on the team as well as the team's primary ball handler. Thomas Staton (9.8 ppg) has hovered around double figures all season, while Fred Chatmon (7.7 ppg, 7.6 rpg) is the only player bringing in more than four rebounds per game.
In the second part of the three-game homestand, the Jaguars were run over by South Dakota, 87-69. IUPUI did shoot a solid 48.4 percent from the field in the contest but was outscored 20-4 from the free-throw line. Mitchell Patton posted 24 points in the losing effort.
It has really been defense where IUPUI has fallen short this season. The Jaguars are allowing 77.9 points per game on 49 percent shooting, while teams assist on 15.7 field goals a contest. Their work on the glass has been severely lacking as well, with the Jaguars the worst rebounding team in the Summit League (29.3 pg) by far. Patton (13.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg) finishes off 58.3 percent of his shots from the floor as the leading scorer since John Hart (14.2 ppg) was lost for an eligibility issue earlier in the season. Donovan Gibbs (10.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg) also shoots better than 50 percent from the floor.
Expect a high-scoring affair not because either of these teams does much on offense but because neither puts together many stops. This is more than likely the final game of the season for IUPUI so expect some urgency out of the Jaguars on their home floor.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: IUPUI 76, UMKC 73
03/02 10:34:49 ET
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