Illinois-Chicago (10-13, 5-5) vs. Cleveland State (9-14, 5-5)
Wolstein Center, Cleveland; Saturday, 3 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Illinois-Chicago looks for its third straight win over Cleveland State at Wolstein Center. Cleveland State’s last win at home against the Flames came on Jan. 18, 2016.
VETERAN PRESENCE: Senior leadership could play a big role in this game’s outcome. Algevon Eichelberger, Craig Beaudion and Torrey Patton have collectively accounted for 47 percent of Cleveland State’s scoring this season and 62 percent of the team’s points over its last five games. For Illinois-Chicago, Tarkus Ferguson, Godwin Boahen, Michael Diggins and Marcus Ottey have combined to account for 57 percent of all Illinois-Chicago scoring, including 62 percent of the team’s points over its last five games.
HORIZON IMPROVEMENT: The Vikings have scored 67.6 points per game and allowed 69.5 points per game across 10 conference games. Those are both solid improvements over the 65.2 points scored and 74.8 points given up per game to non-conference opponents.TERRIFIC TARKUS: Ferguson has connected on 33.6 percent of the 134 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 9 of 30 over the last five games. He’s also converted 77.1 percent of his free throws this season.
UNDEFEATED WHEN: The Vikings are 5-0 when at least four of their players score 10 or more points and 4-14 when any fewer than that achieve double-figures. The Flames are 8-0 when they score at least 72 points and 2-13 on the year when falling short of 72.
ACCOUNTING FOR ASSISTS: The Flames have recently used assists to create baskets more often than the Vikings. Cleveland State has an assist on 33 of 68 field goals (48.5 percent) over its past three matchups while Illinois-Chicago has assists on 56 of 93 field goals (60.2 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: Cleveland State has attempted the second-most free throws among all Horizon teams. The Vikings have averaged 22.6 free throws per game this season and 26.2 per game over their last five games.
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