banner

College Basketball

more stats

Western Illinois (9-16) at Denver (13-12)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 20, 9 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Magness Arena (7,200) -- Denver, Colorado. Television: None. Home Record: WIU 6-4, Denver 7-4. Away Record: WIU 1-11, Denver 5-6. Neutral Record: WIU 2-1, Denver 1-2. Conference Record: WIU 3-7, Denver 6-4. Series Record: Denver leads, 2-1.

GAME NOTES: The Western Illinois Fighting Leathernecks travel west to take on the Denver Pioneers in a Summit League bout at Magness Arena on Thursday night.

After falling to South Dakota State last Saturday, 62-50, Western Illinois has now dropped its last four contests. The Fighting Leathernecks are second only to IUPUI for worst record in the Summit League.

Denver comes into this game having won three of its last four and sits in fourth place in the Summit. The Pioneers downed IUPU-Fort Wayne last Saturday on the road, 73-62.

This is just the fourth meeting all-time between these programs, and Denver has the edge, 2-1. WIU won the initial meeting (84-78) on its home court on Jan. 30, 1978. The Pioneers won a neutral-site matchup (75-48) in Ames, Iowa on Dec. 7, 2002. Denver won on the road in the first meeting this season, 67-55, on Jan. 25.

Mike Miklusak and Garret Covington both scored 12 points for the Leathernecks in the recent loss to South Dakota State. Jabari Sandifer contributed 11 points in the losing effort. Despite shooting just 38.1 percent in the first half, the Leathernecks claimed a narrow 24-23 lead at halftime. Western Illinois failed to hold the lead in the second, however, as it shot a mere 26.9 percent, recording a scant seven field goals. The Jackrabbits improved to 39.1 percent and hit 21-of-31 at the free-throw line to put the game out of reach.

Covington leads the Leathernecks in scoring this season with 14.2 ppg on 41.2 percent shooting from the floor. He is the only WIU player to average double figures. Michael Ochereobia leads the squad in rebounding at 5.1 rpg, and Sandifer tops the team with 76 total assists on the year. Despite scoring a league-worst 61.4 ppg, the Leathernecks are allowing an identical 61.4 ppg, which is good for tops in the Summit.

Bryant Rucker and Brett Olson each tallied 18 points to lead the Pioneers past Fort Wayne the last time out. Olson grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists, while Chris Udofia chipped in with 16 points and a team-high five assists in the win. Denver went into the intermission with a 35-25 lead after connecting on 56.5 percent of its field goal tries, while IPFW hit on 50 percent of its shots. Neither team let up in the second period. The Pioneers hit the mark on 52.4 percent of their shots in the frame, while the Mastodons once again connected on 50 percent of their attempts.

Olson has proven to be the most consistent scorer for Denver this year, averaging 15.2 ppg on 48 percent shooting from the floor. Udofia checks in with 12.7 ppg, and is tops on the squad in several categories, with 97 assists, 41 steals and 62 blocked shots. Cam Griffin leads the Pioneers in rebounding at 6.0 rpg. On the season, Denver is scoring 65.6 ppg and giving up a mere 63.1 ppg, second only to the Leathernecks in the conference.

These teams are evenly matchup statistically -- both offensively challenged but both with stout defense. Given this balance, the hotter team has been the Pioneers of late, so expect them to keep up their recent string of success.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Denver 66, Western Illinois 63

02/20 10:17:51 ET

Other Stories

TV
  • Hoops Headquarters: Final Four Special

    Friday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBS Sports Spectacular: NCAA March Madness Confidential

    Sunday at 5:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NCAA Basketball Tournament Championship

    Monday at 9:00 pm on WRAL-TV

Scoreboard
Local
Final
WAS 4
CAR 2
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
DET
 
Final
TAM 8
BOS 11
Final
STL 2
MIA 3
Final
WAS 0
NYM 2
Final
MIN 3
NYY 1
Final
DET 3
PIT 7
Final
BAL 3
TAM 4
Final
TOR 10
PHI 6
Final
TEX 10
CHC 15
Final
LOS 1
CWS 2
Final
MIL 4
CIN 10
Final
SFG 4
COL 3
Final
CLE 8
SEA 6
Final
ANA 10
OAK 13
Final
ARI 8
TEX 7
Final
ATL 5
HOU 8
Final
SDP 1
KAN 4
1:05pm Today
PHI
ATL
 
1:05pm Today
MIN
BOS
 
1:05pm Today
HOU
DET
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
TAM
 
1:05pm Today
BOS
TOR
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
WAS
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
STL
 
3:05pm Today
OAK
ANA
 
3:05pm Today
KAN
LOS
 
4:05pm Today
CIN
ARI
 
4:05pm Today
SEA
CWS
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
CLE
 
4:05pm Today
CHC
MIL
 
4:05pm Today
CWS
SDP
 
4:10pm Today
COL
TEX
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
PIT
 
Final
DET 105
ATL 95
Final
BRK 111
IND 106
Final
MIA 81
SAN 95
Final
LAC 106
GSW 110
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
PHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
SAN
 
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
BRK
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
IND
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIL
CHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
SAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
TOR
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
DEN
 
10:00pm Tonight
POR
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
NOP
 
Final
TEMPL 57
MIAMI 60
Final
EVAN 79
TENNM 66
Final
NARZ 68
YALE 61
Final
ODU 60
STAN 67
8:00pm Tonight
LAMON
LOYC
 
Final
WAS 4
CAR 2
Final
BOS 3
FLA 2
Final
CLB 3
NJD 2
Final
DET 1
OTT 2
Final
TOR 3
TAM 1
Final
WIN 2
NYR 3
Final
NAS 4
VAN 5
7:30pm Tonight
BUF
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
PIT
PHI
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
EDM
 
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
COL