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Area hoop teams among nation's best

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For more on college basketball, follow Tom Davis via Twitter at Tom101010.

Saint Francis, Indiana Tech earn spots in NAIA poll

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - 5:29 am

Fort Wayne basketball fans don't have a shortage of quality basketball to watch at the collegiate level this season. Both Saint Francis and Indiana Tech earned spots in the most recent NAIA Men's Basketball Division II national poll.

The Cougars were ranked 22nd on Tuesday, which was their first mention of the season.

Saint Francis is 7-2 and has been led by junior center Scott Kohne, who prepped at Bishop Dwenger High School. The Cougars have been ranked in the Top 25 in 32 of the last 40 polls starting with the first poll of the 2009-10 season.

Saint Francis will be tested immediately by hosting 11th-ranked IU-Southeast (6-2) at the Hutzell Athletic Center at 7:30 tonight..

The Grenadiers have won five consecutive games entering tonight's game.

Indiana Tech is also on a hot streak of late. The Warriors have won four straight games, and have a pair of victories over Saint Francis this season.

The Warriors received 15 points in Tuesday's poll, which placed them seven spots outside the rankings at No. 32.

Indiana Tech has gotten a balanced scoring effort with four players averaging double figures.

Senior forward Melvin Brooks leads the team with 14.1 points per game, followed by senior guard Antonio Cannon with 12.7. Also contributing is junior guard Jeff Hoskins and senior guard Jordan Hickman, who are both chipping in more than 10 points a night.

Indiana Tech is again among the nation's elite at the defensive end, as it has been since coach Al Grushkin took over three seasons ago. The Warriors are once again near the the top of the NAIA, ranking top-3 in the country in three-point field goal percent defense (0.242), scoring defense per game (54.1), and turnover margin (6.0).

One of the most impressive statistics is that Indiana Tech ranks sixth in the nation in blocked shots with 46 despite playing a majority of the game with five guards. The Warriors also rank 11th in overall field goal percent defense holding the opposition to just 38 percent shooting.

The Warriors (9-2, 3-1 Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference) will host Concordia University (3-6, 2-2 WHAC) tonight at 7:30 p.m.