College Basketball

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Western Illinois (8-12) at IUPUI (5-17)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 30, 7 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: The Jungle (1,215) -- Indianapolis, Indiana. Television: HTSN, ESPN3.com. Home Record: WIU 6-2, IUPUI 6-3. Away Record: WIU 1-9, IUPUI 4-6. Neutral Record: WIU 2-1, IUPUI 2-1. Conference Record: WIU 2-3, IUPUI 3-6. Series Record: Western Illinois leads, 28-11.

GAME NOTES: Two teams in desperate need of a win square off on Thursday night, as the Western Illinois Leathernecks visit the IUPUI Jaguars in a Summit League clash at The Jungle.

A 67-55 loss to Denver last Saturday was the third in the last four games for Western Illinois. The Leathernecks are now 8-12 overall, with a mark of just 2-3 against the rest of the conference. Playing on the road isn't likely to help matters, with the team owning a single win in 10 trips this season. That is bad news considering the Leathernecks next two games are also away from home.

IUPUI has been even worse this season, with a 5-17 ledger overall entering Thursday's contest. The Jaguars have lost five straight games and have not posted a win against a Division I opponent since edging out NC Central in a 71-65 final in early December. They will host Nebraska-Omaha next.

Last season, Western Illinois swept the series with IUPUI, although the two wins came by a combined 13 points. The Leathernecks lead the all-time series by a 28-11 margin.

The Leathernecks' slow start was too much to overcome in their loss to Denver. They managed to connect on only 38.9 percent of their shots in the first half, entering the break trailing 28-16, while being outscored 22-7 off of turnovers.

Defensively, Western Illinois is one of the top teams in the Summit League as it limits foes to 60.8 ppg on 40.7 percent shooting. In fact, the Leathernecks are 12th nationally in scoring defense. However, they are scoring a paltry 62.1 ppg themselves. Garret Covington (14.1 ppg) is the only player on the roster scoring in double figures. He finished with a team-high 12 points on 4- of-10 shooting against Denver. Adam Link (8.9 ppg) is the next-best scoring option. Link knocked down both his shots from the floor, but finished with only seven points against Denver.

IUPUI was run over by IUPU-Fort Wayne last time out, falling in a 90-75 decision. The Jaguars were outscored 39-15 from beyond the arc, while allowing the Mastodons to connect on 56.5 percent of their total shots. Khufu Najee scored a game-high 20 points for the Jaguars.

There are a few more scoring threats at head coach Todd Howard's disposal, chief among them is Ian Chiles (15.9 ppg), who is actually third in the Summit League in scoring. However, Chiles missed the game with IPFW due to injury. His status remains uncertain for Thursday's tilt. Mitch Patton (12.6 ppg, 6 rpg), Najee (9.8 ppg) and Marcellus Barksdale (9 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 3.5 apg) had to pick up the slack in Chiles' absence, and may have to again. Patton tallied 19 points against IPFW, while Barksdale, who leads the team in assists and rebounds, tacked on 13 points, five boards and five helpers.

With Chiles' status up in the air, it is difficult to see how the Jaguars will find enough offense against the defensive-minded Leathernecks, even at home.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Western Illinois 65, IUPUI 58

01/30 10:37:07 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 2
DUR 9
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
7:05pm Tuesday
PHI 0
ATL 0
7:05pm Tuesday
NYY 0
CHC 0
7:05pm Tuesday
BAL 0
TAM 0
7:08pm Tuesday
DET 0
CLE 0
Final
CIN 7
PIT 5
Final
MIA 11
WAS 2
Final
TEX 5
SEA 0
Final
CWS 2
BOS 1
Final
HOU 2
KAN 4
Final
MIL 1
STL 6
Final
MIN 3
TOR 9
Final
ARI 0
NYM 9
Final
ANA 9
OAK 10
Final
SDP 2
COL 3
Final
SFG 3
LOS 2
12:35pm Today
CIN
PIT
12:35pm Today
BAL
TAM
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
CHC
 
1:10pm Today
MIL
STL
 
3:40pm Today
ARI
NYM
 
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
ATL
 
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
CHC
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CLE
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
SEA
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
BOS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
KAN
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
TOR
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
LOS
 
Final
BRK 98
NYK 109
Final
LAC 117
DEN 105
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
IND
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIL
ATL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
HOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
LAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
PHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NYK
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
UTA
 
8:00pm Tonight
BOS
WAS
 
10:30pm Tonight
DEN
GSW
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
SAC
PHO
 
7:00pm Tonight
TAM
MON
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
Final
CHR 2
DUR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR