Where: Gates Sports Center
On the air: ESPN 1380-AM
Records: IPFW (9-4), Eastern Illinois (3-6)
Expected starters for the Mastodons: Steve Forbes – 6-9, redshirt junior center; Pierre Bland – 6-2, senior guard; Michael Kibiloski – 6-7, senior forward; Joe Edwards – 6-4, junior forward; Isaiah McCray – 6-0, junior guard.
Update: IPFW is coming off a 95-75 home win over Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. Mastodon coach Tony Jasick wasn't enamored with his team's half-court offense in a road win at Bradley prior to the SIU-E game, but IPFW responded by shooting over 62 percent in the second half in the victory. IPFW beat Eastern Illinois in Charleston last month (71-65) and did so by limiting the Panthers to just 13 rebounds. That was also a critical component against SIU-E, which grabbed just 19 boards in comparison to the Mastodons' 28. A victory on Saturday would be the fourth consecutive for IPFW, which is ranked 25th in this week's CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll. It is the first time in Mastodons' history that the program has earned the honor. A 10-4 record would match the program's best 14-game start (2010-11) as a NCAA Division I program.
Coach Tony Jasick: “The reason we're playing Eastern Illinois again (within a few weeks), a little bit, is it's sort of like an in-league deal. You can go through it with your team on how you prepare for game two (against an opponent). For us it will be great in how we approach game two. You win game one on the road, and now you play them again a few weeks later, how is your mental approach? Where is your toughness at? That is part of it. But we're going to have to do a better job of defending one-on-one. They've got some guys that can score the ball off the bounce. We didn't do a great job of keeping them in front of us. Offensively, we have to get out in transition and get going and hopefully have a little bit more flow offensively.”