Northwestern comes into Wednesday night’s game against IUPUI on a six game win streak. Saturday evening’s victory over Dayton effectively put the Wildcats in postseason discussion, and they’ll look to take care of business in this non-conference matinee and avoid the much-maligned “bad loss”.
IUPUI carries a record of just 5-7, but against two Big Ten opponents, the Jaguars fell to Michigan by 12 and Illinois by just eight. Combine that with Northwestern’s lackluster performance in a four-point win over Chicago State, and the 13-point spread is suddenly very understandable. IUPUI is ranked 199th in RPI and 158th in KenPomeroy’s rankings.
The Jaguars are paced by senior guard Darell Combs, a Chicago native averaging 17.5 points and just over three assists a game. He’s put up double digits in all but one game this year. Expect him to shoot early and often. IUPUI’s other double-digit scorer is senior forward Matt O’Leary. O’Leary is 6-foot-8 and comes in averaging 14.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. He’s often the Jaguars biggest guy on the court, so size should not be an issue in this game for Northwestern. O’Leary has an excellent shot for a big man; his true shooting percentage and effective field goal percentage are both within the top 70 in the country.
Defensively, IUPUI struggles with rebounding, allowing a lofty 32.7 rebounds per contest. Northwestern should be able to take advantage, and get to the line early and often. What the Jaguars do well is win the turnover battle. They take good care of the ball and record nearly 9 steals per game.
Northwestern is riding high off a big win over Dayton, but they cannot overlook IUPUI. This is a team that has played Big Ten teams and competed with them so far this season, and should be a good non-conference test for the Wildcats.
Game time: 7 p.m. CT
TV channel: N/A
Online streaming: BTN2go Plus
Mobile: BTN2go Plus
Radio: ESPN 1000
Betting line: NU -13