ROCKFORD, Ill. – With first place in the conference at stake, the Harper College men's basketball team takes on No. 5 Rock Valley tonight at 7:30 PM.
The Hawks and Golden Eagles each sit at 6-2 in the N4C coming into the contest. Triton and Joliet also hold 6-2 marks in the conference coming into tonight's action.
Harper shot nearly 57 percent from the field on Saturday night in a 100-75 win over Joliet. Rock Valley kept pace in the N4C race with an 89-64 win over Wright.
Harper beat Rock Valley, then ranked No. 3, 85-80 in a game played on the campus of Judson University Jan. 11. Bradley Reibel (/Prospect) scored a game-high 24 points, and Kevin Walsh (/St. Viator) added 14 points. Frank Cimino led the Golden Eagles with 19 points (five 3-pointers).
Big Road Test
The Hawks have been dominant inside the Wellness & Sports Center with an 11-1 record. They score 84.7 PPG and shoot nearly 47 percent as a team, but away from home has been a different story. The Hawks are 3-8 on road or neutral floors and are shooting just over 41 percent.
Harper lost 74-67 at Rock Valley last year and 82-69 the year prior.
Boyd Hitting his Stride
Freshman guard Michael Boyd (/Lake Zurich) has been invaluable for the Hawks off the bench in the last four games. In just 16 minutes per contest, Boyd has averaged 8.8 PPG and 3.5 APG and played solid defense.
Golden Eagles freshman guard Frank Cimino earned Region IV Div. III Player of the Week honors on Tuesday. Cimino averaged 25.0 PPG in two games last meeting and hit 10 3-pointers.
Foul Shooting Crucial
In a battle between two closely-matched teams, the game may come down to free throwing shooting. The Hawks converted nearly 70 percent of their attempts (16-of-23) in the first meeting while the Golden Eagles struggled, shooting 58.1 percent (18-of-31) in the five-point loss.