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Men's Basketball Looks for Revenge Against Coyotes

February 13, 2014

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The IPFW men's basketball team will look for revenge from its loss in Vermillion earlier in the year against the University of South Dakota, as the teams will meet up for the second time this season at the Gates Sports Center on Thursday evening.

Opponent: South Dakota Coyotes (9-14, 3-5 Summit)
When: Thursday, February 13 | 7 p.m.
Where: Fort Wayne, Ind. | Gates Sports Center
Radio: WKJG 1380 AM The Fan | Brett Rump, play-by-play
Live Stats: IPFW Sidearm Live Stats
Live Video: Mastodon All-Access


South Dakota comes into the game having lost five of its last six games, with the only win coming via an 80-40 win over Peru State.
In the team's last game, a 75-67 loss at Denver, Trey Norris and Adam Thoseby each scored 15 points to lead the team, while Karim Rowson scored 11. Trevor Gruis and Rowson each pulled down seven rebounds, as the Coyotes out-rebounded Denver 33-to-28. Norris dished out a game-high five assists, while Gruis picked up two steals.
Brandon Bos leads the team in scoring, averaging 12.3 points per game, while Gruis is just off the same pace averaging 12.2. Two players, Thoseby and Norris each average 8.1. Casey Kasperbauer, who averages 7.3 points per game, leads the team with 40 made three-point baskets, while Bos is a close second with 32. Gruis makes 56.1 percent of his shots - best on the team - while Bos is 72-of-84 (85.7%) from the charity stripe.
Gruis has a team-best 6.2 rebounds per game, with Tyler Flack just behind putting up 4.7 boards per contest. Norris has dished out 101 assists against just 42 turnovers this year, with Bos sitting second on the team nearly 50 assists behind. Flack has a team-best 36 blocks with Gruis adding 27, and Norris leading the team with 30 steals.


IPFW's 18-8 start this season is the fifth-best 26-game record in program history, and is the best in IPFW's NCAA Division I era.


IPFW's 18 wins this season stand tied for the fifth most wins in a single-season in program history. The school record for wins is 23, set in 1992-93 by the squad that advanced to the NCAA Division II National Tournament. Below are the top five highest win totals in program history.


Ok, well, you can call it a comeback if you want - we're just taking the advice of LL Cool J. On January 30, IPFW overcame a 15-point deficit to beat the Omaha Mavericks at home. It tied IPFW's NCAA Division I record for the largest deficit recorded in an IPFW win, tied with a December 10, 2011 game, also against Omaha. The largest comeback in IPFW's Division I history came on January 20, 2011 at North Dakota State where the team had an 18-point deficit and won.


Former Mastodon standout Frank Gaines was selected with the first pick in the second round by the Maine Red Claws in the 2013 NBA Development League draft. In 29 games with the Red Claws, Gaines is averaging 19.7 points per game, which ranks second on his squad and 11th in the D-League.


A look behind IPFW's shooting percentage, which is the 10th-best team total in the country, you will see three regular players shooting at .500 or better. Leading that group is IPFW junior forward Steve Forbes, who shoots 63.8 percent from the field (118-of-185). Forbes' totals are quite good; however, he does not appear in the NCAA national rankings because he is 12 makes shy of missing the minimum of five made shots per game mark in order to be ranked. ESPN, however, has a much less stringent minimum to qualify (five field goal attempts per game), and in that ranking Forbes stands seventh in the country.


IPFW's current RPI (ratings percentage index) - a mathematical figure used to rank teams based on their records, their strength of schedule, and their opponents' records - stands at 129. The RPI mark is just off of the program low, which came three weeks earlier with a 128. Heading into the season, the previous best RPI for the program was at the end of the 2011 season when the program's RPI was at 180.


IPFW's 18-8 record stands tied for the most wins in the state among NCAA Division I programs, and second in winning percentage. IPFW is tied with Indiana State with 18 wins, and trail just the Sycamores (18-6) in win percentage. Of the 10 NCAA Division I teams in the state, seven have a .500 record or better with an overall state winning percentage of .506 (124-121).


Since December 9 the Mastodons have had a place in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 poll, this week sitting at 25th overall. The program reached its highest-ever ranking last week at 19th overall.

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