Mercer goes up against UIC
Mercer (3-2) vs. Illinois-Chicago (1-3)
Credit Union 1 Arena, Chicago; Saturday, 5 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Mercer and Illinois-Chicago look to bounce back from losses. Each program is coming off a road loss in their last game. Illinois-Chicago lost 65-56 to Bradley on Saturday, while Mercer came up short in a 98-88 game at Georgia Southern on Tuesday.
LEADING THE WAY: Illinois-Chicago’s Godwin Boahen has averaged 11.3 points and 5.3 rebounds while Michael Diggins has put up 8.8 points and five rebounds. For the Bears, Ethan Stair has averaged 20.8 points and 9.4 rebounds while Djordje Dimitrijevic has put up 17 points, 5.8 rebounds and two steals.EFFICIENT ETHAN: Stair has connected on 42.9 percent of the 35 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 12 of 23 over his last three games. He’s also made 89.5 percent of his free throws this season.
ASSIST DISTRIBUTION: The Flames have recently used assists to create baskets more often than the Bears. Illinois-Chicago has 35 assists on 53 field goals (66 percent) over its past three outings while Mercer has assists on 47 of 85 field goals (55.3 percent) during its past three games.
PACE OF PLAY: The upbeat Mercer offense has averaged 77.7 possessions per game, the 26th-most in Division I. Illinois-Chicago has not been as uptempo as the Bears and is averaging only 67.2 possessions per game (ranked 282nd, nationally).