No. 14 North Central at No. 25 Augustana men's basketball preview glance

No. 14 North Central at No. 25 Augustana men's basketball preview glance

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Tonight: 7 p.m., Carver Center

Twitter: @TJ_DA

Listen in: portal.stretchinternet.com/augustana/

Potential starting lineups

No. 14 NORTH CENTRAL (17-4, 10-2 CCIW): F: Connor Raridon (6-6, Sr.) 14.7 points per game/7.3 rebounds per game & Matt Cappelletti (6-5, Sr.) 13.5/6.8; G: Aiden Chang (6-3, Sr.) 6.7/1.6, Matt Helwig (6-2, Jr.) 9.7/2.4 & Blaise Meredith (6-4, Jr.) 8.1/5.7.

No. 25 AUGUSTANA (16-6, 10-3 CCIW): F: Pierson Wofford (6-3, Sr.) 17.0/6.8; C: Micah Martin (6-11, Sr.) 13.0/6.6; G: Jack Jelen (5-10, Jr.) 4.5/2.5, Austin Elledge (6-0, Sr.) 14.0/1.1 & Lucas Simon (6-5, Sr.) 6.1/3.7.

The series: Augustana leads 106-66

Game notes: Winners of five straight and eight of their last nine, the Vikings climbed back into the D3hoops.com national poll at No. 25 this week. Augie is the only ranked team with more than four losses. … North Central, ranked No. 14, has won three straight over the Vikings. The Cardinals took a 54-53 decision last month in the first meeting and return to Carver Center where they beat Augie 72-65 in last year's CCIW Tournament title tilt. … This very well could be another low-scoring game with North Central and Augie ranking second and third, respectively, in scoring defense in the league. … Augie has the top defense in regards to opponent field goal percentage (.409). … NCC leads the league, averaging 9.4 3-pointers per game. Augie is No. 2 in defensive 3-point FG percentage (.305). … Both of NCC's league losses have come on the road at Carthage (83-81) in the CCIW opener and at Illinois Wesleyan (77-71) three games ago. The Cardinals swept third-place Elmhurst, a team that Augie split against. … North Central averages 77.2 points per game and allows 65.5. The Cardinals are +3.6 rebounding (35.4-31.8). … Augie averages 75.5 points per game and allows 66.6. The Vikings are +6.0 rebounding (38.3-32.3). … There is no JV game tonight. … Augie hosts Carthage on Saturday in a CCIW women's/men's doubleheader that starts at 5 p.m.

Augie coach Grey Giovanine: “These are the games you want to be in. It’s a meaningful game in the middle of February with the conference race on the line. … They’re a really outstanding defensive team and really want to play slow, so you have to be ready to guard them for long possessions. They have great balance. … They really spread you out, which is a great challenge because you have to guard five guys who are constantly moving.”

— Tom Johnston, tjohnston@qconline.com

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