This week's SLIAC Game of the Week features two of two of hottest teams in the league as Greenville College will host MacMurray College in a men's basketball showdown on Saturday in Greenville, Illinois.
Greenville is off to their best start in years at 8-5 overall and are currently in second place in the SLIAC standings with a 5-1 record. The Panthers won their first five conference games before falling in their last outing. MacMurray got off to a rough start this season and are just 4-9 overall but have won three straight games, the second longest active winning streak in the SLIAC, and sit at 4-2 in conference play.
MacMurray put together a tough early season schedule, dropping their first four games and nine of of their first ten games. However the Highlanders have righted the ship as of late, winning their last three games (all SLIAC contests). MacMurray most recently topped Fontbonne 78-73 with Dylan Guthrie leading all scorers with 31 points in the win.
The Highlanders are averaging a league best 75.1 points per game however they are also allowing 82.5 points per game, worst in the league. MacMurray likes to push the ball, averaging a league high 65.2 shots per game, over 50 shots more than the next team. Clayton Whitlock, a senior center, is the man in the middle for MacMurray. Whitlock is averaging 15.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while shooting 66-percent from the field. Senior guard Dylan Guthrie is averaging 12.4 points per game and is coming off a 31 point outburst against Fontbonne. The athletic Deavis Johnson, a mid-season transfer, is averaging 10.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.
Greenville will be looking to respond after suffering their first conference loss this season in their previous game. The Panthers are 6-2 in their last eight games but fell to Webster last Saturday 73-56. The Panthers were held to just 30-percent shooting in the loss after coming into the game leading the league in team field goal percentage at 47-percent.
The Panthers are averaging 74.8 points per game, second best in the league, and allow 72.5 points per game. However in conference play their defense has performed even better, allowing just 63.2 points per game and limiting opponents to 38-percent shooting. Senior forward Ron Harris, an All-Conference defender, leads the team in scoring this year at 13.9 points per game and rebounds at 7.1 rebounds per game. Junior forward Tim Daniel is averaging 12.3 points per game while ranking second in the league in three-point shooting with 33 three pointers on 49-percent shooting. Junior forward Andrew Scott has given the Panthers some inside force and is averaging 9.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting 54-percent from the field.
- Greenville leads the all-time series against MacMurray 20-18 although MacMurray has won the last four meetings and six of the last eight.
- MacMurray's Clayton Whitlock leads the conference in field shooting percentage and is 13th in NCAA Division III.
- Greenville is a perfect 5-0 at home this season.
- MacMurray edged out Greenville for fourth place in the 2014 SLIAC Preseason poll, receiving 53 points to Greenville's 52 points.