NEW ALBANY, Ind. -- A showdown of the top teams in each division with many implications for the regular-season conference title takes the stage for the River States Conference Men's Basketball Game of the Week when No. 7-ranked IU East (19-5, 10-1 RSC) visits receiving-votes IU Southeast (16-4, 10-1 RSC) on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 3 p.m. ET from New Albany, Ind.
The Red Wolves and Grenadiers are out in front in the race for the best conference record during the regular season across both divisions. The team with that distinction will be guaranteed a bid to the NAIA Division II national tournament as regular-season conference champs. Saturday's winner will have a leg up on the rival from the other division.
Watch Live on Stretch Internet with IU Southeast's broadcast portal providing live streaming video. Follow Dakstats for the live stats webcast. Follow on Twitter with hashtag #RSCgotw and @RiverStatesConf and @RSCScores.
IU East, ranked No. 7 in the nation this week, currently leads the RSC East Division by a half game over No. 22-ranked WVU Tech (16-5, 9-1 RSC). IU Southeast. which is just outside the Top 25 at No. 26 overall, leads the RSC West Division by 5.5 games over the next team.
The following are game preview notes provided by IU East and IU Southeast:
LAST TIME OUT
IU East wrapped up a five-game homestand with a 113-88 win against Brescia University on Jan. 24. IU Southeast extended its win streak to six in its last game, a road victory at Ohio Christian on Jan. 24 by score of 93-74, IU East is 3-15 against IU Southeast since joining the NAIA. The Grenadiers beat the Red Wolves 87-78 in New Albany last season.
IU EAST STORYLINES
* IU East has won seven in a row.
* This is the first of four consecutive road games for the Red Wolves.
* Aaron Thomas needs one blocked shot to match the school record for blocks in a season (54).
* IU East leads the nation with a .436 team 3-point field goal percentage. The Red Wolves are also fifth in the nation with 5.0 blocks per game and 14th in the nation with a .496 team field goal percentage
* Kyle Pipenger is second in the nation with a .530 3-point field goal percentage and 50th in the nation with 2.6 3-point field goals per game.
* Aaron Thomas is seventh in the nation with 2.2 blocks per game and 15th in the nation with 9.3 rebounds per game.
* Jacoby Claypool is 47th in the nation with 1.6 steals per game.
* The Red Wolves are...18-1 when they shoot .446 or better from the field; 17-1 when they score 75 or more points; 12-1 when they have more assists than turnovers; 10-0 when they make 15 or more free throws; 8-0 when they limit the opponent to less than 70 points.
IU SOUTHEAST STORYLINES
* IU Southeast has won six in a row - all by double digits - and is running away with the River States Conference West Division.
* During the six-game win streak, the Grenadiers have defeated their opponents by an average of 25 points per game.
* The Grenadiers boast the nation's best defense as measured by field goal percentage allowed. IU Southeast's opponents are shooting .360 from the field. The Grenadiers also lead with nation with 5.8 team blocks per game.
* IU Southeast leads the RSC in scoring defense at 69.5 ppg.
* Jamie Johnson, a 6-0 freshman guard, leads a balanced Grenadier scoring list with 14.7 points per game. He's scored in double digits in seven straight games, including 21 at OCU Tuesday.
* Joe Jackson, a 6-7 junior forward, adds 9.3 points per game and a team-best 5.9 rebounds. Jackson is also third in the nation with 2.7 blocks per game.
* IU Southeast is 7-1 at home this season.