Indiana State (16-5) at Northern Iowa (11-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 1, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McLeod Center (6,650) -- Cedar Falls, Iowa. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Indiana State 8-0, Northern Iowa 8-0. Away Record: Indiana State 7-4, Northern Iowa 1-8. Neutral Record: Indiana State 1-1, Northern Iowa 2-2. Conference Record: Indiana State 7-2, Northern Iowa 5-4. Series Record: Indiana State leads, 25-21.
GAME NOTES: Following a two-game losing skid, the Northern Iowa Panthers got back on track with a win Wednesday night and will now look to make it two in a row as they host the Indiana State Sycamores in Missouri Valley Conference action at the McLeod Center.
Indiana State saw a two-game winning streak come to an end with a 79-60 defeat at the hands of Southern Illinois. Despite the loss, the Sycamores have still won four of their last six games, and are second in the conference standings at 7-2 behind Wichita State's perfect 9-0 record.
The Panthers recovered from a two-game skid with a 95-81 thumping of Evansville Wednesday night. Even with the win, the Panthers have still lost three of their last five games, and sit at a distant third in MVC standings at 5-4.
Indiana State leads the all-time series between the two teams, 25-21, which began back in the 1991-92 season. The Panthers and Sycamores will meet once again this season on March 1.
Three players reached double-digit scoring numbers for Indiana State Wednesday night, but it wasn't enough to take down Southern Illinois, which earned the easy victory over the high-flying Sycamores. Justin Gant scored a team-high 14 points in the loss, while Manny Arop netted 12 and Jake Odum scored 11 with a team-high seven rebounds. The Sycamores connected on just 39.6 percent of their shots from the floor in the game, and hit only 50 percent of their free- throw attempts.
Odum leads a group of five players for the Sycamores averaging double digits this season. Odum nets 12.1 ppg on 41.9 percent shooting from the field, while Arop comes in at second behind Odum with 11.5 ppg. Dawon Cummings (10.9 ppg), Gant (10.8 ppg) and Khristian Smith (10.6 ppg) are all within a point of Arop's scoring total. Odum is the team leader with a low 4.4 rpg average, and is first in assists with 101 on the year.
Northern Iowa completed the season sweep over Evansville with the victory Wednesday night in Cedar Falls. The Panthers connected on a school-record 17 3-pointers in the contest, beating the old mark of 15 set last January. Deon Mitchell and Seth Tuttle each scored 20 points to pace the Panthers in the win. Tuttle drained 12 of his 16 free-throw attempts, while Mitchell connected on 4-of-7 from 3-point distance. Matt Bohannon added 19 points, and Wes Washpun chipped in 11.
Tuttle leads a group of three double-digit scorers for Northern Iowa on the season. Tuttle checks in at a team-leading 14.6 ppg on 49.2 percent shooting from the floor. Mitchell is second on the team with 13 ppg, and Nate Buss is third with 10.8 ppg. Tuttle tops the squad with 7.9 rpg, and Washpun is first on the team in assists with 78. The Panthers are scoring an average of 74.1 ppg through 21 contests.
Indiana State may be coming off a win, and Northern Iowa may be undefeated at home, but that shouldn't guarantee anything. The Sycamores haven't lost back- to-back games all season long, and as long as the typical contribution from the top five scorers is present, Indiana State should have the leg up in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Indiana State 79, Northern Iowa 73
02/01 11:59:25 ET