Southeast Missouri State (11-10) at SIU Edwardsville (6-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 24, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Vadalabene Center (4,000) -- Edwardsville, Illinois. Television: None. Home Record: SEMO 7-3, SIUE 5-2. Away Record: SEMO 3-5, SIUE 1-8. Neutral Record: SEMO 1-2, SIUE 0-0. Conference Record: SEMO 3-4, SIUE 2-4. Series Record: Southeast Missouri State leads, 13-4.
GAME NOTES: The SIU Edwardsville Cougars open up a three-game homestand on Thursday night, as they entertain the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks in an Ohio Valley Conference clash at the Vadalabene Center.
SEMO had been losers of a season-high four straight games heading into its latest contest at home against Tennessee Tech, but it was able to halt that skid by downing the Golden Eagles, 74-62. The triumph allowed the Redhawks to surge back above .500 at 11-10, although they are just 3-4 in OVC play.
SIUE hasn't experienced much success this season at 6-10 overall and 2-4 in conference, and although it fought hard at Murray State last Saturday, it came away with a 70-61 loss. The Cougars have played pretty well on their home floor however, winning five of seven bouts this season at the Vadalabene Center.
The Redhawks swept the season series last year and have won four straight over the Cougars to improve to 13-4 in the all-time series.
SEMO opened up a 13-point halftime lead in its latest matchup against Tennessee Tech, and the game was never in doubt from there. The team was able to overcome a game-high 19 turnovers by shooting 46.9 percent from the floor, 24-of-31 from the foul line, and winning the rebounding battle by a 47-33 margin. Tyler Stone was outstanding in the triumph, logging 20 points and a season-high 15 rebounds. Nino Johnson and Corey Wilford added 15 and 14 points, respectively, with each grabbing seven boards apiece. On the season, the Redhawks pour in 71.0 ppg on 45.6 percent shooting, but they allow nearly the same number of points to the opposition (69.7 ppg). Stone is one of the OVC's true difference-makers, ranking fifth in scoring (16.7 ppg) and third in rebounding (8.3 rpg). Johnson also makes his presence felt in the frontcourt with 12.0 ppg, 9.2 rpg and 2.5 bpg, all while shooting a lofty 56.9 percent from the floor. Corey Wilford drains 41.3 percent from 3-point range (45- of-109) on his way to 13.5 ppg.
SIUE shot a solid 45.1 percent from the field in its last game, but it committed 22 turnovers, which Murray State turned into 26 points, and that proved to be the difference in a nine-point loss. Mark Yelovich was stellar in 31 minutes off the bench, scoring 18 points and ripping down six rebounds, while Kris Davis (five assists) and Jerome Jones each tallied 14 points. The Cougars typically struggle to put points on the board, ranking 11th in the league in scoring (62.3 ppg). They haven't been especially active from 3-point range with 98 long-range buckets (11th in the league), but they rank third in 3-point percentage (.370). The majority of those treys have come from Jerome James, who is 37-of-87 from beyond the arc en route to team-best 15.5 ppg. Davis adds 10.6 ppg and 3.3 apg, while Michael Messer (9.7 ppg) and Yelovich (9.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg) are also reliable producers.
SIUE will surely give SEMO a run for its money, but the visiting Redhawks have a big advantage in the frontcourt with Stone and Johnson.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: SE Missouri State 71, SIU Edwardsville 64
01/24 10:34:51 ET