Drake (12-9) at Illinois State (11-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 1, 4:05 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Redbird Arena (10,000) -- Normal, Illinois. Television: None. Home Record: Drake 6-4, ISU 7-3. Away Record: Drake 4-4, ISU 3-6. Neutral Record: Drake 2-1, ISU 1-1. Conference Record: Drake 3-6, ISU 4-5. Series Record: Illinois State leads, 50-29.
GAME NOTES: The Drake Bulldogs hit the road to take on the Illinois State Redbirds in a Missouri Valley Conference matchup at Redbird Arena on Saturday afternoon.
At home on Wednesday night, the Bulldogs downed Missouri State in an 84-74 final. Even with the win, Drake is just 4-6 in its last 10 outings, putting it at 12-9 overall and 3-6 in conference.
In other MVC action on Wednesday, Illinois State fell hard to Bradley, 64-46. It was the third straight loss for the Redbirds, who are just a game over .500 at 11-10, but a game below in conference play at 4-5.
The Redbirds lead the all-time series with the Bulldogs, 50-29. This is the second meeting between the two this season, with Illinois State winning the first, 77-63, in Des Moines two weeks ago.
Richard Carter scored a game-high 23 points while dishing out 11 assists to lead the Bulldogs over the Missouri State Bears at the Knapp Center. Jordan Daniels added 22 points and Chris Caird scored 18, as Drake snapped a seven- game losing streak to Missouri State. Trailing by three, 66-63, with just over five minutes to play, Drake used an 11-0 run to take the lead for good and pull away for the win. The Bulldogs dominated the boards, outrebounding the Bears, 34-16. Drake also drained a season-high 14 3-pointers at a 58.3 percent clip.
Carter is the top offensive performer for the Bulldogs, averaging 17.6 ppg, which is good enough to rank him third in the league. Aaron Hawley (10.2 ppg) and Daniels (13.4 ppg) can also knock down shots. As a team, the Bulldogs are scoring 71.8 ppg and shooting 45.5 percent from the floor, ranking fifth in the MVC in each category. They lead the league in 3-point shooting, knocking down treys at a 40.8 percent clip.
Paris Lee and Daishon Knight both scored eight points to pace the Redbirds in their recent loss to Bradley. Trailing by just one midway through the second half, the Redbirds allowed the Braves to go on a 12-0 run to put the game away. ISU's mistakes came back to haunt it, as Bradley forced 19 turnovers and converted them into 23 points.
Knight, who has come off the bench in seven of his 21 appearances, leads the team in scoring with 12.6 ppg, even though he is shooting just 36.5 percent from the field. Zach Lofton, another part-time starter, chips in with 10.4 ppg, but his accuracy from the floor is absolutely abysmal at just 29.1 percent. A big part of the problem is his lowly 24.3 percent effort from beyond the arc. Bobby Hunter brings some additional offense to the table, averaging 10.0 ppg. As a team, Illinois State is dead last in the conference in field goal percentage (.398), scoring just 68.1 ppg. It does lead the league in steals (7.3 spg).
With the Redbirds struggling to defend, expect the sharp-shooting Bulldogs to take advantage from long-range and come away with a solid road victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Drake 75, Illinois State 67
02/01 11:52:06 ET