DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 6, 8:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Drake Knapp Center (7,002) -- Des Moines, Iowa.
Television: MC22, ESPN3.com. Home Record: Illinois St. 9-4, Drake 7-3. Away
Record: Illinois St. 3-5, Drake 3-5. Neutral Record: Illinois St. 1-1, Drake
1-3. Conference Record: Illinois St. 4-7, Drake 5-6. Series Record: Illinois
State leads, 48-29.
GAME NOTES: The Drake Bulldogs shoot for a third straight win on Wednesday
night as they entertain the Illinois State Redbirds in Missouri Valley
Conference action at the Drake Knapp Center in Des Moines.
Coming into the week the Bulldogs were tied with the likes of Bradley,
Northern Iowa and Missouri State for fifth place in the conference standings
with a record of 5-6. Drake was caught up in another tight matchup over the
weekend, but managed to pull out a 74-71 overtime victory against Indiana
State at home.
As for the Redbirds, they've produced four wins in the last five games in
order to move to 4-7 in league play after opening the conference slate with
six straight defeats. The squad registered an overwhelming 83-47 win against
Southern Illinois last Saturday to complete the season sweep of the Salukis.
Drake won the first meeting of the season with ISU on the road last month by a
score of 82-77, as Ben Simons and Chris Hines both tallied 23 points, while
Jordan Clarke (16 points, 11 rebounds) and Joey King (11 points, 11 rebounds)
both logged double-doubles for the Bulldogs. As a result, the all-time series
now numbers 48-29 in favor of Illinois State.
Illinois State showed no mercy against the Salukis the last time out, limiting
the visitors to a mere 30.5 percent shooting from the floor and 7-of-26 behind
the 3-point line. Offensively, the Redbirds were paced by Tyler Brown who
dropped in 16 points in just 20 minutes of action, while Jackie Carmichael
carved out a double-double with 15 points and a team-best 11 rebounds. The
hosts made good on 28-of-35 at the free-throw line, compared to a mere 4-of-9
for the Salukis. A potential double-double waiting to happen every time he
takes the floor, Carmichael is leading the team in both scoring (17.9 ppg) and
rebounding (9.4 rpg), not to mention coming up with 47 of their 93 blocked
shots as well. Brown checks in with 15.5 ppg which means between he and
Carmichael they account for a large portion of the unit's 75.2 ppg.
Ben Simons stepped up and produced 21 points for the Bulldogs over the
weekend, leading four players in double figures, as the hosts came away with
the thrilling overtime win against Indiana State at the Knapp Center. Jordan
Clarke responded with 13 points and six rebounds, Joey King 12 points and five
boards off the bench, while Richard Carter tacked on another 11 points in an
effort to offset his four turnovers. Simons, the leading scorer for the
Bulldogs in two of the last three games, is currently the only one on the
roster putting up double digits on a regular basis with his 14.4 ppg, which
has a lot to do with his playing almost 35 minutes per game. There are seven
other players scoring at least 6.0 ppg which allows for some flexibility with
an offense that is posting 72.0 ppg.
Both of these teams have the potential to put up substantial numbers at the
offensive end of the floor, which means it will be the defense that will
probably determine the outcome. Expect the Bulldogs to tighten up in front of
the hometown crowd as they shoot for the season sweep.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Drake 69, Illinois State 64