Indiana State (17-12) at Evansville (17-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 2, 5 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ford Center (11,000) -- Evansville, Indiana. Television:
ESPN3.com. Home Record: Indiana State 11-3, Evansville 13-3. Away Record:
Indiana State 4-8, Evansville 4-10. Neutral Record: Indiana State 2-1,
Evansville 0-0. Conference Record: Indiana State 9-8, Evansville 9-8. Series
Record: Indiana State leads, 83-74.
GAMES NOTES: Two teams deadlocked in the Missouri Valley Conference standings
will collide at the Ford Center on Saturday when the Indiana State Sycamores
take on the Evansville Purple Aces.
The Sycamores have picked the wrong time to begin stumbling as they have
fallen in four of their last five battles. Indiana State is now 17-12 overall
but tied in for fourth in the league with Evansville with a record of 9-8.
This contest will wrap up the regular season for the Sycamores who could grab
the third seed in the upcoming MVC standings with a win and Northern Iowa
Evansville has been headed in the opposite direction of Indiana State with
wins in three-straight contests. The Purple Aces are sporting a 17-13 overall
record on the campaign with an identical 9-8 mark against league foes.
Evansville would also benefit from a Northern Iowa loss as it could grab the
third seed in the conference tournament with a win and a loss by the Panthers.
When Indiana State hosted the first meeting between these teams, Indiana State
took down Evansville 72-62. The Sycamores have won four straight in the all-
time series which they lead, 83-74.
On Wednesday Indiana State surrendered a 67-56 loss to Drake in its final home
game of the season. The Sycamores were outscored 24-16 in the paint for the
game, while shooting just 34.8 percent from the floor. The Sycamores did knock
down eight 3-pointers but needed 25 shots to do so.
Jake Odum (14.2 ppg, 4.7 apg) has taken control of the Sycamores this season.
The 6-foot-4 guard is not only the leading scorer fort he Sycamores but its
top distributor as well. Odum also ranks among the top five players in the
conference in assists while scoring in double figures in 10 straight games.
Manny Arop (12.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg) is the second option as well as the top
rebounder for the Sycamores, while R.J. Mahurin (10.3 ppg) has provided
consistency by shooting 45.6 percent from the field. As a team, the Sycamores
are among the bottom half of squads on offense scoring 67.1 points per game on
43.8 percent shooting.
Evansville went into Charles Koch Arena and stunned formerly nationally ranked
Wichita State, 59-56, on Wednesday. The Purple Aces went on a 7-1 run towards
the end of the contest but neither team scored in the last three minutes as
the Purple Aces escaped with the victory.
Colt Ryan (19.6 ppg, 4.0 apg) led the way yet again by erupting on the
offensive end against the Shockers. The 6-foot-5 swingman is second in the
conference in scoring, while ranking among the top four players in the league
in assists. He has topped 20 points in eight of the last nine contests. Ned
Cox (11.4 ppg) is the second best scorer on the roster, while Troy Taylor (6.7
ppg, 7.1 rpg) is a vital contributor for his efforts on the glass. D.J.
Balentine (8.1 ppg) is a sparkplug off the bench though he shoots less than 40
percent from the field. The Purple Aces are scoring just over 68 points per
game, primarily by moving the ball well as a team as they rank second in the
MVC in assists (15.7 pg).
With a ton of momentum on their side and an always raucous Ford Center behind
them, the Purple Aces, who are 13-3 at home, should get a bit of revenge
against Indiana State.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Evansville 71, Indiana State 66
03/02 10:33:49 ET
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