IUPUI (12-16) at Nicholls State (8-16)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 18th, 4:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stopher Gym (3,800) -- Thibodaux, Louisiana. Television: None. Home Record: IUPUI 9-5, Nicholls State 4-4. Away Record: IUPUI 1-11, Nicholls State 2-11. Neutral Record: IUPUI 2-0, Nicholls State 2-1. Conference Record: IUPUI 6-10, Nicholls State 4-8. Series Record: Nicholls State leads 1-0.
GAMES NOTES: The IUPUI Jaguars and Nicholls State Colonels will square off for the first time in nearly four decades in a BracketBuster pairing at Stopher Gym this afternoon.
Nicholls State won a high-scoring affair in the only meeting between these schools as the Colonels took home a 106-98 victory during the 1976 season.
IUPUI has bounced back from a seven-game losing streak with wins in four of the last five games. The Jaguars' winning ways have inched them closer to respectability in the Summit League where they are now 6-10. This matchup is the beginning of a three-game road trip to close the season that continues at North Dakota State.
Nicholls State is enjoying its most successful stretch of the season as the Colonels have won three of the last four games, after a home victory against Lamar last time out. The recent winning trend has not been enough to pull the Colonels out of the poor season they have endured with the squad just 8-16 overall and 4-8 in the Southland Conference. This is the second matchup of a three-game homestand for the Colonels that ends on Tuesday against Central Arkansas.
IUPUI was phenomenal offensively in its win over South Dakota on Wednesday. The Jaguars shot an incredible 60.3 percent from the floor including 10-of-17 from three-point range en route to a decisive 88-70 victory.
Offensive outbursts are something IUPUI is capable of on any night as the Jaguars are scoring 72.9 points per game. The solid offense hasn't led to more wins as the Jaguars defense surrenders 72.5 points per game. The centerpiece of the team is senior swingman Alex Young. The veteran is scoring 20.8 points per game which is the third best mark in the conference while also posting team-highs with 5.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. Guards Stephen Thomas (11.0 ppg) and Ian Chiles (10.0 ppg) are the only other IUPUI players averaging in double figures.
Nicholls State shot well enough in its win over Lamar last Saturday but it was on the defensive side of the ball that gave the Colonels the edge. Nicholls State held the Cardinals to just 30.6 percent shooting overall including 4- of-20 from beyond the arc, while also forcing 14 turnovers and blocking five shots to grab the 72-63 win.
As a team, Nicholls State is markedly worse on both offense and defense. The Colonels are scoring 66.0 points per game while allowing a horrendous 77.2 points per game to its opponents. The Colonels are also severely lacking in strength on the glass as they bring down a conference low 30.8 rebounds per game. Freshman forward Trevon Lewis (13.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg) is both the team's leading scorer and rebounder. Since missing a two game stretch in mid-January Lewis has been inconsistent scoring in double figures in only three of the six games after doing so in six straight previously. Sophomore guard Dantrell Thomas (10.8 ppg) has also missed stretches this season but has seen minutes in nine straight games and is averaging 20.5 points per game over the last four contests.
With the scoring of Young and superior play at both ends, IUPUI should earn the win, despite being on the road.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: IUPUI 73, SIU Edwardsville 62
02/18 10:41:21 ET