Indiana State (18-6) at Bradley (11-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 12, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Carver Arena (11,433) -- Peoria, Illinois. Television: None. Home Record: Indiana State 9-1, Bradley 10-4. Away Record: Indiana State 8-4, Bradley 1-8. Neutral Record: Indiana State 1-1, Bradley 0-2. Conference Record: Indiana State 9-3, Bradley 6-6. Series Record: Bradley leads, 50-30.
GAME NOTES: The Bradley Braves are trying to make a run in Missouri Valley Conference play, and have won two consecutive games. They'll try to keep it going as they host the Indiana State Sycamores in conference play at Carver Arena.
Indiana State has separated two wins with a loss in its last three outings. The Sycamores defeated Drake on Sunday, 60-56, to improve to 9-3 in the conference standings. They currently sit in second in the MVC, three games behind Wichita State's perfect 12-0 conference record.
Bradley endured a seven-game losing streak earlier this season, but has since turned it on in conference play, having won five of its last seven games. The Braves are coming off an 83-66 blowout win over Evansville Sunday, and sport a 6-6 conference record.
Bradley leads the all-time series with Indiana State, 50-30, but the Sycamores were the last ones to strike in the head-to-head meetings. Indiana State won earlier this season at home, 62-59.
With the win over Drake on Sunday, Indiana State improved to 18-6 on the season. It was a historic victory in that the Sycamores have had four consecutive 18-win seasons, which has never happened before in the 118-year history of the program. Khristian Smith came off the bench to score a team- high 19 points for the Sycamores, while Manny Arop poured in 13 in the four- point win. Jake Odum had a team-high six assists.
Odum, Arop and Smith are all within a single point of each other for the team lead in scoring average this season. Odum tops the squad with an 11.9 ppg average, while Arop checks in with 11.8 ppg and Smith at 11.3 ppg. Then it's Dawon Cummings with 10.8 ppg and Justin Gant with 10.6 ppg for the Sycamores. So scoring is certainly not hard to find this season. At 4.4 rpg, Odum leads the squad, and has a team-high 116 assists on the year.
Bradley didn't need much to dispose of Evansville Sunday, but the team got a significant contribution from Walt Lemon Jr. anyway. Lemon netted a game-high 25 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Braves, who improved to 6-6 in the MVC. Tyshon Pickett scored 20 points and pulled down seven boards, while Xavier Taylor notched a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards and Omari Grier had 13 points. The Braves found no shortage of scoring in the game.
Lemon has been a scoring force this season for Bradley, averaging 17.6 ppg on 42.7 percent shooting from the floor. His 103 assists is a team best on the year, but Lemon has also turned it over a team-high 87 times. Pickett is second in scoring with a 12 ppg average and a team-leading 7 rpg mark. Grier is the third scorer averaging double figures for the Braves this year with 10.8 ppg.
This should be an intriguing matchups, since both teams are playing well. The Sycamores though, have so many pieces that could go off on any given night, and the Braves, while talented and playing at home, may struggle to keep pace.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Indiana State 79, Bradley 73
02/12 10:40:11 ET