IUPUI (1-5) vs. Gardner-Webb (2-4) (ET)
GAME NOTES: The first-ever meeting between the IUPUI Jaguars and the Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb is set to take place at Orleans Arena as the teams compete in the next phase of the Las Vegas Invitational.
IUPUI, which has just a single win this season against IU Northwest (88-53), has lost two straight outings. The team was first taken down by Northwestern last Friday in a 63-61 decision and then came up short in a 78-64 meeting with Missouri on Monday. The last two games were also part of this tourney, but played at school sites.
As for the Bulldogs, they too have tumbled versus the Tigers (72-63) and Wildcats (72-59), with those defeats coming after the team had built a minor two-game win streak with wins over Jacksonville and Allen in Boiling Springs, North Carolina.
Both teams will be back in action on Friday in this event as well, facing off against Chattanooga and Morehead State, with the matchups to be based on Thursday's outcomes.
The Jaguars allowed Missouri to shoot 50.9 percent from the floor and 8-of-19 behind the 3-point line earlier this week, but it was more IUPUI's inability to convert beyond the arc (5-of-19) and at the free-throw line (5-of-10) that was more damaging for the visitors. Ja'Rob McCallum led the Jags with 14 points off the bench, fellow reserve Justus Stanback added 11 in 13 minutes before fouling out, while Ian Chiles turned in the only double-digit performance by a starter with 12 points, although he missed all six of his triples and converted 6-of-17 from the floor.
Despite the lackluster shooting effort three days ago, Chiles is still the leading scorer for the Jaguars with his 18.0 ppg. He has knocked down only 29.4 percent on the perimeter and 60.9 percent at the charity stripe over six starts. Mitch Patton (15.0 ppg) and Khufu Najee (12.2 ppg) are also key scorers for IUPUI, but it is a player like Marcellus Barksdale (3.7 ppg) with his 7.7 rpg and 26 assists that could hold the key to the team's success moving forward.
The Bulldogs shot just 29.2 percent from the floor in the opening half against Northwestern and while they may sound dreadful, the team trailed by only three points at the half. Unfortunately, as the poor shooting continued in the second half for Gardner-Webb, the Wildcats responded with 66.7 percent accuracy in order to take control and cruise to the win the last time out. Tyrell Nelson was the leading scorer for the visitors with 14 points, followed by Naji Hibbert with 13. Jerome Hill cleared 11 rebounds, but scored only six points on 3-of-10 from the field.
Hibbert is at the top of the scoring list for the Bulldogs with his 13.8 ppg, followed by Donta Harper and Hill with 13.0 and 11.0 ppg, respectively. Gardner-Webb is producing a modest 70.7 ppg, but at the same time giving up 71.8 ppg, even as opponents shoot just 28.8 percent from 3-point range.
Because the offense has had issues in recent games, as well as the fact that they are being beaten on the glass by nearly six rebounds per game, the Bulldogs will have a tough time bringing home even one win from Las Vegas this week
GAME NOTES: The first-ever meeting between the IUPUI Jaguars and the Bulldogs
of Gardner-Webb is set to take place at Orleans Arena as the teams compete in
the next phase of the Las Vegas Invitational.Fact Stats
FACTS & STATS: Site: Orleans Arena (9,500) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television:
None. Home Record: IUPUI 1-2, Gardner-Webb 2-0. Away Record: IUPUI 0-3,
Gardner-Webb 0-4. Neutral Record: IUPUI 0-0, Gardner-Webb 0-0. Conference
Record: IUPUI 0-0, Gardner-Webb 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.Game Date and Time
Thursday, November 28, 2:30 p.m. (ET)Predicted Outcome
IUPUI 74, Gardner-Webb 66