GAME NOTES: The Illinois State Redbirds try to bring an end to a three-game
slide on Wednesday night, as they host the Missouri State Bears in Missouri
Valley Conference action.
Presently sitting in the bottom half of the MVC standings with a record of
7-9, the Redbirds took a break from the conference slate over the weekend in
order to tangle with Utah State on the road, and bowed to the Aggies at the
Dee Glen Smith Spectrum by an 80-71 final.
As for the Bears, they too were dealing with a foe from outside the MVC on
Saturday, but unlike the Redbirds, Missouri State managed to come out on top
versus their adversary with a 57-54 triumph against Eastern Michigan. The win
snapped a brief two-game slide for a squad that is currently 6-10 in league
play, which puts the Bears behind ISU at the moment.
The Redbirds lead the all-time series between these two squads by a 34-26
margin, but Missouri State won the first meeting of the season in early
January by a score of 62-55 at home.
Despite shooting only 5-of-21 behind the 3-point line and a dismal 16-of-30 at
the free-throw line, the Bears somehow found a way to come out on top against
EMU over the weekend, on the road no less. Anthony Downing helped spur the
successful comeback bid as he finished with 16 points, followed by Marcus
Marshall with 11, although the duo did combine to make just one of their 10
shots from beyond the arc.
In conference play, the Bears have been coming up with only 61.6 ppg, compared
to the 66.3 ppg being allowed the opposition at the other end of the floor.
Downing is responsible for 14.3 ppg, is first in assists and steals as well
with 57 and 18, respectively, not to mention placing second on the glass with
almost five rebounds per contest. Marshall comes in with another 11.9 ppg and
has combined with Downing to connect on 120-of-141 at the charity stripe,
which is more than the rest of the team put together right now.
Not too many teams go into Logan and leave with a good taste in their mouth,
something the Redbirds found out for themselves over the weekend as they
suffered the nine-point loss to Utah State. However, even though Illinois
State as a whole did not have a successful visit, the same could not be said
for Tyler Brown who erupted for 35 points and 10 rebounds, hitting the glass
hard while also converting 7-of-14 beyond the arc. Also logging a strong
double-double was Jackie Carmichael with 2 points and 10 boards, which means
the rest of the squad combined for only 16 points.
One of the top interior performers in the conference this season, Carmichael
not only leads the team in both scoring and rebounding with averages of 17.8
points and 9.4 rebounds per contest, he is also tops with 57 blocked shots,
making opponents think twice about taking their chances in the paint. While
Carmichael takes care of the rough and tumble play in the key, Brown (17.5
ppg) is the one hitting on 66-of-182 out on the perimeter to help spread the
Thanks to the one-two punch of Carmichael and Brown, the potential for the
Redbirds to have a strong outing is always there and being at home, only makes
it more so.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Illinois State 68, Missouri State 64