Men's College Basketball
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Southern Illinois (8-17) at Indiana State (14-11)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 11th, 1:00 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Hulman Center (10,200) -- Terre Haute, Indiana. Television: Local. Home Record: SIU 6-6, Indiana State 9-2. Away Record: SIU 2-8, Indiana State 3-8. Neutral Record: SIU 0-3, Indiana State 2-1. Conference Record: SIU 5-9, Indiana State 5-9. Series Record: SIU leads, 78-40.

GAMES NOTES: Two teams near the bottom of the Missouri Valley Conference will square off in a rematch of a meeting from earlier in the season when the Southern Illinois Salukis take on the Indiana State Sycamores at the Hulman Center.

The first meeting between these two squads occurred on January 13th and it was Southern Illinois that took the decision, downing Indiana State 73-67. The Salukis' win pushed their commanding lead in the all-time series to 78-60.

Southern Illinois has put together a disappointing 5-9 record in conference play this season and has lost three of its last five decisions. The Salukis' conference mark is tied with Indiana State for ninth in the 10-team conference although both teams are still far ahead of 2-12 Bradley. The Salukis will be at home against conference powerhouse Creighton in their next matchup.

The Salukis lost a heartbreaker on Wednesday as they fell 56-54 at home to Missouri State. Southern Illinois led by three with 8:31 remaining after trailing 31-25 at half, but were unable to hold on for the win with Mamadou Seck missing two shots that would have tied the game in the closing seconds.

Although Southern Illinois is not last in the standings, the Salukis are last in the MVC in offensive efficiency. Southern Illinois scores only 62.8 points per game and shoots 41.3 percent from the floor which are both the lowest marks in the conference. Seck, a senior forward, netted 14 points and was the only player in double figures against Missouri State. The game was a microcosm of the season for Southern Illinois. Seck (12.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg) is the only Saluki currently averaging in double figures, while also leading the team on the glass. Seck has score in double figures now in three straight games and 18 overall this year. Freshman forward Dantiel Daniels (8.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg) is the second best scorer on the season for the Salukis and also bolsters the teams defense on the inside swatting a conference leading 1.9 shots per game. Junior guard Jeff Early (8.3 ppg) is the primary scoring threat in the backcourt.

Indiana State has dropped back-to-back games after a three-game winning streak. The Sycamores are now 5-9 but have a decent 14-11 record overall this season including a 9-2 mark at the Hulman Center where they will play in their next matchup against Illinois State.

The Sycamores took an embarrassing loss on the road to last place Bradley on Wednesday. The Braves took the 68-60 decision by limiting Indiana State to just 33.3 percent shooting in the game which including a 17-point first half for the Sycamores. Indiana State wasted a 15-point, 11-rebound effort from Jake Odum in the loss, as well as a 16-point performance from Dwayne Lathan.

Indiana State isn't much better in terms of scoring this season with the Sycamores averaging 64.5 points per game, while shooting 41.8 percent from the field. Indiana State has kept opponents close though in surrendering 65.0 points per game for a narrow -0.5 scoring differential. Lathan is the team's leading scorer so far this season netting 12.6 points per game while also proving to be a solid rebounder out of the backcourt (5.0 rpg). Odum is the teams second best scorer (10.7 ppg) but is most effective as a passer with the sophomore guard handing out 5.2 assists per game which is third in the conference. Odum is also a decent defender and leads the team in steals (1.9 spg) as well as rebounds (5.7 rpg). Senior forward Carl Richard (9.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg) is the third option for the squad but at 6-5 is more of a combo forward that can stretch the floor. Sen3.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3.2 apg) has been a do-it-all player for the Monarchs as well as the teams leading scorer. Bazemore settle into more of a facilitating role against William & Mary netting only 10 points but dishing out a season high nine assists. Senior forward Chris Cooper (11.0 ppg, 10.2 rpg) has been the teams second option and has piled up the double-doubles this season as the conferences third leading rebounder. Cooper scored seven points and had 4 rebounds against William & Mary in just 20 minutes of action but before that had posted a double-double in four of five games.

ODU really needs to win this game to keep pace at the top of the CAA standings. The Monarchs have not been dominant at home this season at just 9-4 at the Constant Convocation Center but in a matchup of two strong defensive squads that home court edge may be the difference.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Old Dominion 65 Virginia Commonwealth 63

02/11 10:46:13 ET

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