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Up next for IPFW: Today vs. Virginia Military Institute

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Mastodons face most potent team in country

Saturday, March 22, 2014 - 9:34 am

Up next for IPFW: vs. Virginia Military Institute in Tournament

When: 1 p.m. Today (EST)

Where: Cameron Hall, Lexington, Va.

On air: 1380-AM

Records: IPFW (25-10), VMI (20-12)

Expected starters for IPFW: Pierre Bland – 6-2 senior guard; Isaiah McCray – 6-0 junior guard; Luis Jacobo – 6-5 senior forward; Michael Kibiloski – 6-7 senior forward; Steve Forbes – 6-9 junior center.

IPFW update: The Keydets are hosting their first postseason game in program history and they'll look to run it up – and at – the Mastodons. VMI is the highest scoring team in the country at over 88 points per game and are particularly effective at home. A win today will give VMI its 14th victory at Cameron Hall this season (it currently has a 13-2 mark at home), which is a program mark. The Mastodons will also set a school record with a win at 26. VMI opened the CIT with a 111-100 win over Canisius, while IPFW advanced to the second round with a 97-91 win over Akron. IPFW is the only remaining NCAA Division I men's basketball program in the state of Indiana still competing. Against the Zips, the Mastodons were efficient offensively (60 percent, including 54 percent from 3-point range), but so was Akron (64 percent). The Keydets had three players combine for 93 points in their earlier postseason victory. VMI will seek to turn IPFW over, as it has generated nearly 80 more turnovers than it has committed. This is the first meeting between the two programs. Mastodon senior forward Luis Jacobo bounced back from a pair of sub-par performances at the Summit League Tournament to score 23 points in the win over Akron, while center Steve Forbes (17 points, 7 rebounds), freshman guard Mo Evans (15), and senior guard Pierre Bland (10 points, seven assists) were also solid. The Keydets are not shy about jacking up shots, particularly from long range. They have attempted over 900 3-point shots this season, which is nearly 30 attempts per game.

IPFW coach Tony Jasick: “I thought early on in the game, Akron made some tough shots that we didn't necessarily defend poorly, they made some tough shots. Once that happens, and you start feeling good, they got confident. And Akron is a good team, now. I think that is our second top 100 win on the year. Give them credit. VMI leads the country in scoring. They play really, really fast. If we turn it into a free-flowing up-and-down game, I don't think that is in our favor. But I don't think that we need to walk the ball up either. But we have to do a good job of guarding the 3-point line, because they are going to take a ton of 3s. And then we have to make sure that we convert (offensively) every opportunity that we can get. You can't take for granted, or have a couple of loose possessions, because they can go 3-3, and now it turns into a six-point deal instead of you taking care of your offensive possessions.”