Nebraska Omaha looks to extend streak vs W. Illinois
Western Illinois (5-11, 2-4) vs. Nebraska Omaha (10-10, 3-2)
Baxter Arena, Omaha, Nebraska; Thursday, 8 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Nebraska Omaha looks for its seventh straight win in the head-to-head series over Western Illinois. In its last six wins against the Leathernecks, Nebraska Omaha has won by an average of 12 points. Western Illinois’ last win in the series came on Feb. 3, 2016, an 83-76 victory.
LEADING THE CHARGE: Matt Pile has put up a double-double with 11.9 points and 10.3 rebounds to lead the way for the Mavericks. JT Gibson has paired with Pile and is maintaining an average of 13.5 points per game. The Leathernecks are led by Kobe Webster, who is averaging 15.8 points.
STEPPING IT UP: The Mavericks have scored 75.6 points per game across five conference games. That’s an improvement from the 71.3 per game they managed in non-conference play.WONDERFUL WEBSTER: Webster has connected on 35.6 percent of the 73 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 7 of 19 over the last three games. He’s also made 72.5 percent of his foul shots this season.
WINLESS WHEN: Nebraska Omaha is 0-5 this year when it scores 65 points or fewer and 10-5 when it scores at least 66.
THREAT BEHIND THE ARC: Western Illinois’s Ben Pyle has attempted 96 3-pointers and connected on 45.8 percent of them, and is 11 for 22 over the past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: The Western Illinois offense has recorded a turnover on only 14.9 percent of its possessions, which is the fourth-lowest rate in the nation. The Nebraska Omaha defense has forced opposing teams to turn the ball over on just 16.2 percent of all possessions (ranked 339th among Division I teams).