The end of the season is near and with that come the final pushes for postseason play. This week's SLIAC Game of the Week features two teams in the middle of the push as MacMurray looks to secure a top spot in the SLIAC Tournament and Fontbonne is looking to grab the final spot into the tournament.
On Saturday MacMurray College and Fontbonne University will take center stage as both teams are looking to position themselves for the postseason. MacMurray starts the week atop the SLIAC standings but have just a one game lead as they are looking to secure hosting rights for the SLIAC Tournament. Fontbonne meanwhile is one game behind the final spot for the tournament. MacMurray and Fontbonne tip on Saturday, February 21 at 3:00 p.m. You can follow the game on Live Stats HERE
MacMurray begins the week with an 11-11 overall record, with all 11 wins coming in conference play. They are currently 11-4 in the SLIAC and will host Iowa Wesleyan on Wednesday before traveling to Fontbonne for Saturday's contest. MacMurray is averaging a conference high 77.0 points per game with an up-tempo offense that averages nearly 64 shot attempts per game including a conference high 20.3 three-pointers.
The Highlanders are led by senior center Clayton Whitlock. Whitlock has been the conference's dominant scorers nearly all season long, averaging 16.0 points per game while shooting a SLIAC high 66.2-percent from the field and grabbing 6.5 rebounds per game. Mid-season transfer, junior forward, Deavis Johnson has given the Highlanders an athletic swing man and is averaging 12.1 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. Dylan Guthrie meanwhile is the Highlanders top outside threat, averaging 14.0 points per game, and knocking down 36-percent of his three-point shots.
Fontbonne is 9-13 overall but 8-7 in conference play. The Griffins currently are tied for fifth place with Eureka, one game behind Greenville for the final spot into the SLIAC Tournament. After winning five consecutive games the Griffins have dropped two straight and are coming off a 69-67 overtime loss at Iowa Wesleyan last Saturday. Fontbonne is averaging 66.6 points per game, fifth in the conference. Fontbonne's offensive style is a contrast to MacMurray's, as they prefer a slower pace; averaging 54.3 shots per game. However the Griffins do like to work their way to the basket, averaging a conference high 23.6 free-throw attempts per game.
Jared Greenlee, a junior forward, is the team's leader at 13.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Support comes from junior guard Blake Welch, who is averaging 10.5 points per game and knocking down 38.5-percent of his three-point shots. Darius Rucker, a junior forward, has provided key minutes off the bench averaging 8.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game while shooting a team best 55.9-percent from the field.
- MacMurray leads the all-time series against Fontbonne 28-24.
- MacMurray won 78-73 over Fontbonne in the season's previous meeting in Jacksonville, Ill.
- MacMurray rolled off eight straight wins in January but have gone just 2-2 in the month of February.
- It has been a season of streaks for Fontbonne, with three various multi-game winning streaks and four different losing streaks during the season.
- MacMurray is looking for their first SLIAC Tournament top seeding since 1996.
- Fontbonne is searching for their first SLIAC Tournament appearance since 2009.