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UND (11-14, 5-6) @ WIU (2-10, 5-17) 2/15 7:00 pm

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UND showed some grit at home and shot the ball well, but too many lapses with the ball proved fatal as the Yotes rolled to a victory 82-68, dropping UND to 0-14 against the I-29 schools since joining the Summit.  UND now hits the road for their only game this week, as they hit up Malcomb to take on a Western Illinois squad that is trying to make it to Sioux Falls.

Since We Last Left WIU:

It hasn't gone well for the Leathernecks, they haven't been able to score a victory since their win against Denver.  They come into this game with a 7 game losing streak and are running out of opportunities to stop this losing streak.  The good news is that they have two opportunities, one right here against UND and the other at the end of the year at Denver.   The goal for WIU is simple:  try to get to Sioux Falls anyway they can.  We know that getting the Sioux Falls gives you a chance, given they upset SDSU last year and nearly took down NDSU in the semis.  What they would like however, is for it to not to come down to the final game of the season.  This also could be the final games of Billy Wright as head coach:  with another near bottom finish more than likely, it might be time for a change at the top. 

Why this matchup is important:

For UND, it is a chance to match their win totals in conference and overall record and finish no worse that 7th in conference play (finishing higher than expectations).  It also would punch their ticket to Sioux Falls with a win or DU loss on Friday.

For WIU, it is a chance to gain some separation from DU and hold that 8th and final spot to Sioux Falls.  Given DUs tough matchup against SDSU on Friday, they could have a two game lead with three to go, meaning that DU would have to win out and WIU would have to lose out practically to pass. 

Key Player: Kobe Webster (Junior Guard)

It might be a long year for the Leathernecks but Webster continues to be a bright spot for the squad.  While his numbers from 3 as down, he is still averaging 16 points a game and is shooting a career high from the free throw line.  Dropped 29 against USD in his last game.

Last matchup:

Behind a 1-2 punch from Marlon and Rebraca and a solid performance from the line, UND was able to come away with the 83-77 win at home.   Marlon had 23 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists.

Series History:

UND leads the series 5-3, including a 3-0 mark in the Summit. 

Milestone Watch:

DAE currently has 353 points this season, which puts him 99 points away from tying the freshman scoring record set by Troy Huff in 2010-11.  With UND guaranteed 6 more games (5 conference games and at least one in Sioux Falls), he would have to average 16.5 points a game to reach it.  Given how he has played in the last 4 games, it is possible he can do it.  If UND can make it to the semi-finals in Sioux Falls, that would increase his chances of doing so. 

Other Games: 

Friday

DU (1-10) @ SDSU (9-2):  If Denver wants to make it to Sioux Falls, they are running out of time to make a move up the standings.  They need to be tied or ahead of Western going into the matchup in the finale.  One thing that could help would be beating the upstart Jacks, who is looking stay with the Bison and hold off the Yotes.  The Jacks have a favorable next three games before the titanic clashes at the end of the season.  They cannot afford a toe stubbing here if they are dreaming of the crown.

Fort Wayne (5-6) @ NDSU (9-2): If NDSU is going to win the Summit, they need to make sure they avoid the trap and letdown games between the clashes against SDSU and USD.  The game against Fort Wayne is your classic trap game in the making if the Bison are not careful.  If the Dons have any thoughts of getting into the 4/5 matchup in Sioux Falls, then stealing one in Fargo or Brookings would be in their best interest. 

Saturday:

USD (9-3) @ ORU (6-6):  Game of the weekend is down in Tulsa as the Yotes will take on the Golden Eagles.  ORU helped themselves in a major way in getting a win against Omaha in the race for the 4 seed.  A win against the Yotes would give them a major edge in that race and also send a statement that you shouldn't count out Oral Roberts and that great frontcourt of theirs.  The Yotes are also trying to avoid the trap before their clash against the Bison on the 19th and winning in Tulsa won't be easy, but if you are going for the crown and the 1 seed, you have to win these games.  Yotes have the horses at guard and a great big to battle ORU's frontcourt. 

The Call:

UND has a big question to answer:  Will Rebraca be good to go?  He reaggravated his ankle injury in the USD game and his status is unknown.  He had a big game against WIU at home and could have a similar performance if he is good to go.  It was good that UND didn't play on Wednesday, so he has had a full week of treatment to help.  If he cannot go, then G and Marko will have to step up once again in the post, but this game will have to be won by the seniors and a surging DAE.  If UND can get that production, they can win.  WIU is going to play desperate and they can win this game.  They nearly did it last year, but took a Marlon trip to the free throw line to deny them.  No reason they couldn't.  In the end:  I think Marlon and company prevent that from happening.

UND 82-77 

Game is on the Tres!

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UND is struggling right now controlling the ball getting the rebounds. Allowing WIU to get 2nd chance points.

11-10 WIU

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when WIU throws Smith out there, he needs to be doubled every time.  He is too big for Rebraca to handle. 

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Giving up too many second chance.  Will come back to bite them in the butt.  Step it up UND

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