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College basketball preview: Kalamazoo at IPFW

Records: IPFW (11-5), Kalamazoo (5-5)

When: 2 p.m. today

Where: Gates Center

Radio: 1380 AM

IPFW leaders: Luis Jacobo (13.7 ppg), Joe Reed (5.4 rpg), Pierre Bland (4.1 apg)

Kalamazoo leaders: Mark Ghafari (28.8 ppg), Chase Baysdell (6.8 rpg), Carl Ghafari (2.6 apg)

Key matchup: IPFW G Pierre Bland vs. Kalamazoo G Mark Ghafari – Without question, it’s the brothers Ghafari – Mark, a senior, and Carl, a junior – who put the sting in the Hornets. The elder Ghafari leads Kalamazoo in scoring and 3-pointers (37) and is fourth on the team in assists, but he also leads the Hornets in turnovers with 27. If Bland, who leads the Mastodons with 29 steals, can bump up that last number some more, it goes a long way toward making what should be an easy day for the Mastodons even easier.

The skinny: The Mastodons shook off their disheartening home loss to Eastern Kentucky with a solid road win at Bowling Green, the first time IPFW has beat a MAC school on the road. IPFW built the win with a big first half, taking a 13-point lead (34-21) into the break and making it stand up for a 65-60 win. … Kalamazoo, a Division III school that plays in the same conference as Trine, lost to Purdue-Calumet 87-77 on Dec. 21. IPFW dismantled Purdue-Calumet team 106-72 on Nov. 20. … The Mastodons are now 5-1 at home and 4-4 on the road this season. … IPFW forced 19 turnovers against Bowling Green, not a good omen for a Kalamazoo team averaging 14.2 turnovers per game.

bensmith@jg.net

– Ben Smith, The Journal Gazette

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