Western Illinois (2-12, 0-7) vs. North Dakota (5-13, 5-7)
Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, Grand Forks, North Dakota; Saturday, 8:30 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: North Dakota looks to extend Western Illinois’s conference losing streak to 19 games. Western Illinois’ last Summit League win came against the Denver Pioneers 86-80 on Jan. 11, 2020. North Dakota is coming off an 83-81 win at home over Western Illinois in its most recent game.
STEPPING UP: The rugged Filip Rebraca has put up 17 points and 7.2 rebounds to lead the way for the Fighting Hawks. Complementing Rebraca is Tyree Ihenacho, who is producing 8.1 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. The Leathernecks are led by Tamell Pearson, who is averaging 12.4 points and 7.1 rebounds.
CLAMPING DOWN: The Fighting Hawks have given up only 71.9 points per game across 12 conference games, an improvement from the 77.7 per game they gave up to non-conference competition.NIFTY FILIP: Rebraca has connected on 34.5 percent of the 29 3-pointers he’s attempted. He’s also made 59.1 percent of his free throws this season.
SLIPPING AT 65: Western Illinois is 0-12 when it allows at least 65 points and 2-0 when it holds opponents to less than 65.
FLOOR SPACING: Western Illinois’s Will Carius has attempted 79 3-pointers and connected on 41.8 percent of them, and is 12 for 22 over the last three games.
DID YOU KNOW: Western Illinois is ranked first among Summit League teams with an offensive rebound percentage of 27.7 percent. The Leathernecks have averaged 11.6 offensive boards per game, but that number has slipped to nine over their eight-game losing streak.
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