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Tennessee State (1-10) at Illinois State (5-5)



*** Tennessee State (1-10) at Illinois State (5-5) ***

The Sports Network The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, December 19, 8:05 p.m. (ET) DATE & TIME: Thursday, December 19, 8:05 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Redbird Arena (10,200) -- Normal, Illinois. Television: FACTS & STATS: Site: Redbird Arena (10,200) -- Normal, Illinois. Television: None. Home Record: TSU 1-2, ISU 2-2. Away Record: TSU 0-6, ISU 2-2. Neutral None. Home Record: TSU 1-2, ISU 2-2. Away Record: TSU 0-6, ISU 2-2. Neutral Record: TSU 0-2, ISU 1-1. Conference Record: TSU 0-0, ISU 0-0. Series Record: Record: TSU 0-2, ISU 1-1. Conference Record: TSU 0-0, ISU 0-0. Series Record: Tennessee State leads, 3-1. Tennessee State leads, 3-1.

GAME NOTES: Fresh of their first win of the season, the Tennessee State Tigers GAME NOTES: Fresh of their first win of the season, the Tennessee State Tigers will try to keep the momentum going when they visit the Illinois State will try to keep the momentum going when they visit the Illinois State Redbirds at Redbird Arena for a non-league bout. Redbirds at Redbird Arena for a non-league bout.

After dropping 10 straight games to start the season, Tennessee State finally After dropping 10 straight games to start the season, Tennessee State finally got into the win column on Sunday. However, it took a matchup with Fisk, a got into the win column on Sunday. However, it took a matchup with Fisk, a team from outside the Division I ranks, for the Tigers to collect the 108-85 team from outside the Division I ranks, for the Tigers to collect the 108-85 victory. They will now challenge for their first road win before heading home victory. They will now challenge for their first road win before heading home on Saturday to take on Miami-Ohio. on Saturday to take on Miami-Ohio.

Illinois State had been rolling along, with wins in four straight outings, Illinois State had been rolling along, with wins in four straight outings, before being handed a 90-75 setback from Oakland on Monday. With the loss, the before being handed a 90-75 setback from Oakland on Monday. With the loss, the Redbirds are now an even 5-5 overall. A date with DePaul on Sunday is next on Redbirds are now an even 5-5 overall. A date with DePaul on Sunday is next on the schedule. the schedule.

After Tennessee State took the first three meetings, Illinois State topped the After Tennessee State took the first three meetings, Illinois State topped the Tigers, 73-68, in their most recent matchup during the 2010-11 campaign. Tigers, 73-68, in their most recent matchup during the 2010-11 campaign.

With an inferior opponent on the other side, Tennessee State finally found With an inferior opponent on the other side, Tennessee State finally found some success offensively against Fisk. The Tigers connected on 51.4 percent of some success offensively against Fisk. The Tigers connected on 51.4 percent of their shots from the floor. Patrick Miller scored 25 points and handed out their shots from the floor. Patrick Miller scored 25 points and handed out nine assists to lead the way. M.J. Rhett had an impressive double-double of 14 nine assists to lead the way. M.J. Rhett had an impressive double-double of 14 points and 18 rebounds in the win. points and 18 rebounds in the win.

It is highly unlikely that the Tigers will be posting a point total in the It is highly unlikely that the Tigers will be posting a point total in the triple digits again. They have averaged just 67.5 points per game and shoot at triple digits again. They have averaged just 67.5 points per game and shoot at a 41.8 percent rate from the floor this season. Defense is also a problem, as a 41.8 percent rate from the floor this season. Defense is also a problem, as they allow 76.6 points per game on an even 45-percent shooting. What is likely they allow 76.6 points per game on an even 45-percent shooting. What is likely to carry over from the win over Fisk is Miller's scoring. The 6-foot-1 guard to carry over from the win over Fisk is Miller's scoring. The 6-foot-1 guard is averaging an impressive 21.2 points per game and has had 20-point efforts is averaging an impressive 21.2 points per game and has had 20-point efforts in seven games. Miller also leads the team in assists (4 apg). Rhett (11.1 in seven games. Miller also leads the team in assists (4 apg). Rhett (11.1 ppg, 9.8 rpg) is nearly averaging a double-double this season, but the rest of ppg, 9.8 rpg) is nearly averaging a double-double this season, but the rest of the roster lacks any player putting in more than seven points per game. the roster lacks any player putting in more than seven points per game.

Despite an incredible performance from beyond the arc, Illinois State couldn't Despite an incredible performance from beyond the arc, Illinois State couldn't keep up with Oakland. The Redbirds nailed 15 shots from 3-point range, but hit keep up with Oakland. The Redbirds nailed 15 shots from 3-point range, but hit just 37.9 percent of their shots from the floor overall. Paris Lee and Daishon just 37.9 percent of their shots from the floor overall. Paris Lee and Daishon Knight each scored 14 points and knocked down four tries from 3-point distance Knight each scored 14 points and knocked down four tries from 3-point distance in the loss. in the loss.

Relying on 3-point shooting has been a normal occurrence for the Redbirds, who Relying on 3-point shooting has been a normal occurrence for the Redbirds, who lead the Missouri Valley Conference in 3-pointers attempted (240) and made lead the Missouri Valley Conference in 3-pointers attempted (240) and made (173). That hasn't helped the team put forth an efficient and balanced attack (173). That hasn't helped the team put forth an efficient and balanced attack though. They are only shooting at a 41.6 percent rate overall, while suffering though. They are only shooting at a 41.6 percent rate overall, while suffering from a -1.8 scoring margin. Knight (14.4 ppg) can always be counted on to do from a -1.8 scoring margin. Knight (14.4 ppg) can always be counted on to do the heavy lifting offensively speaking. The 6-foot-1 guard has scored in the heavy lifting offensively speaking. The 6-foot-1 guard has scored in double figures in eight-straight games and has attempted at least shots from double figures in eight-straight games and has attempted at least shots from beyond the arc in all but one contest. Zach Lofton (12.1 ppg) is the only beyond the arc in all but one contest. Zach Lofton (12.1 ppg) is the only other double-figure scorer, but he has connected on just 29.5 percent of his other double-figure scorer, but he has connected on just 29.5 percent of his attempts from the floor. attempts from the floor.

Getting back home will benefit the Redbirds. Returning to Division I Getting back home will benefit the Redbirds. Returning to Division I competition will not do the same for the Tigers. competition will not do the same for the Tigers.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Illinois State 79, Tennessee State 63 Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Illinois State 79, Tennessee State 63

12/19 11:19:23 ET