Southern Illinois (10-16) at Indiana State (19-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 15, 1:05 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hulman Center (10,200) -- Terre Haute, Indiana. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Southern Illinois 7-5, Indiana State 9-1. Away Record: Southern Illinois 2-9, Indiana State 9-4. Neutral Record: Southern Illinois 1-2, Indiana State 1-1. Conference Record: Southern Illinois 6-7, Indiana State 10-3. Series Record: Southern Illinois leads, 80-43.
GAME NOTES: The Indiana State Sycamores will try to build on their two-game win streak and their Missouri Valley Conference record as they host the Southern Illinois Salukis in a conference bout at the Hulman Center.
Southern Illinois had won four games in a row before a loss Tuesday night to conference leader Wichita State, 78-67. The Salukis are 6-7 in the MVC and are trying to make up some ground with five games remaining on their schedule.
Indiana State has won two straight and three of its last four games, which includes a 68-62 victory over Bradley Wednesday night. The Sycamores are 10-3 in the conference standings, and are chasing the Shockers who occupy the top spot.
Southern Illinois owns a hefty all-time series lead, 80-43, which was extended with a win earlier this season against Indiana State in Carbondale, 79-60.
The Salukis held a lead against unbeaten Wichita State early in the second half of Tuesday night's game against the Shockers, but Southern Illinois wasn't able to stay ahead in the loss. Anthony Beane netted 25 points for the Salukis to lead the team on 10-of-19 shooting from the floor. Desmar Jackson and Jalen Pendleton each chipped in 13 points in the losing effort. Southern Illinois shot 47.1 percent from the floor in the contest.
Jackson still has a hold on the team's top spot in terms of scoring average, netting a very healthy 19.4 ppg on 48.8 percent shooting from the field. His 57 assists tops the team, as does his 64 steals total. Jackson's 5.4 rpg mark is second only to Sean O'Brien's 5.5 rpg average. Beane checks in at second in scoring with 13.4 ppg, and Pendleton is third at 10.1 ppg.
Indiana State earned its ninth road victory on the season with the victory over Bradley, which puts the Sycamores in a tie for third nationally. Only Manhattan and Stephen F. Austin have more road victories than Indiana State. Jake Odum paced the Sycamores in the game with 27 points, adding five rebounds to his stat line. Khristian Smith added 14 points and nine boards, while Manny Arop netted 13 with seven rebounds.
Odum has proven to be a complete player this season for Indiana State, leading the team in scoring with a 12.5 ppg average, a team-best in assists (119 on the year) and a tie for the top spot in rebounding (4.4 rpg with Arop). Arop checks in at second on the squad with 11.8 ppg, and Smith comes in at third with 11.4 ppg. Both Justin Gant (10.4 ppg) and Dawon Cummings (10.4 ppg) are also averaging double-digit point totals on the year for the Sycamores.
Although Southern Illinois owns the only head-to-head matchup this season, the Sycamores have shown they can be a very strong team on their home court at 9-1. With players like Odum, Arop and Smith who can all go off on any given night, it's a nightmare of a matchup for any team.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Indiana State 78, Southern Illinois 72
02/15 10:56:56 ET