Indiana State (6-4) vs. Miami-Florida (8-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, December 25, 7:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) -- Honolulu, Hawaii.
Television: ESPN2. Home Record: ISU 3-1, Miami 5-0. Away Record: ISU 2-2,
Miami 3-1. Neutral Record: ISU 1-1, Miami 0-1. Conference Record: ISU 0-0,
Miami 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The first-ever meeting between the Indiana State Sycamores and the
Hurricanes of Miami-Florida is set to take place at the Stan Sheriff Center in
Honolulu during the championship round of the Diamond Head Classic on
The Hurricanes arrived on the island sporting an impressive 7-1 mark, losing
only to Florida Gulf Coast in the second game of the season. The team extended
its win streak to seven in a row on Saturday with a 73-58 romp over host
Hawaii, but then was taken down by fourth-ranked Arizona a day later in a
69-50 final. The scoring output for Miami was the team's lowest of the
campaign so far.
As for the Sycamores, they too arrived at the tournament on a high note,
having taken down IUPUI on the road back on Dec. 15 by a score of 75-61, but
in Saturday's action the team had to go to overtime in order to best Ole Miss,
87-85. Making the quick turn-around for Sunday's action, Indiana State refused
to go away quietly versus 18th-ranked San Diego State, but eventually did bow
to the Aztecs by a score of 62-55, snapping the team's brief two-game win
The Sycamores stuck around longer than most expected on Sunday, trying to keep
pace with San Diego State before suffering the seven-point setback. Of the 55
points scored by Indiana State, all but six came from the starting five as
R.J. Mahurin led the way with 15 points in 25 minutes of action. Manny Arop
got off to a slow start, but ended up with 13 points and five rebounds,
followed by Jake Odum with 10 points and four assists, but he was also guilty
of five of the unit's 17 turnovers in the contest. Miscues continue to be an
issue for ISU, as the team averages more than 13 per contest and that has
limited its offensive output to 68.7 ppg which isn't much more than the 66.4
ppg the squad is allowing the competition. Odum has been trying to balance the
scales by not only leading the team in scoring with 15.0 ppg, but also pacing
the group with 46 assists over 10 outings. Arop (13.4 ppg) has been a big
contributor in the paint with 6.6 rpg, but at the same time he has shown that
handling the ball is not one of his strengths, guilty of 27 turnovers while
posting just six assists.
It wasn't until the final minutes of the first half that the Hurricanes began
to fall off the pace against Arizona, but once that happened the team never
recovered, en route to the double-digit loss on Sunday. Kenny Kadji tried to
keep hope alive with his 19 points, followed by Durand Scott and Shane Larkin
with 15 and 10 points, respectively, but it turned out to be a lost cause.
Scott and Larkin combined to register nine steals in the meeting, but at the
same time were tagged for seven turnovers. Rion Brown made the start for the
group, but finished just 1-of-9 shooting from the floor, the team making just
36.5 percent for the game. Unfortunately, even though there were plenty of
rebounds to be had, Miami was crushed on the glass, 46-20, and had just five
at the offensive end of the floor. The loss of Reggie Johnson to a sprained
left thumb means Miami is having to make up for 12.6 ppg and a team-best 10.1
rpg which is not easy. Kadji is the active leader on the glass for the program
with 6.6 rpg, while the scoring is being handled primarily by Scott (16.1 ppg)
and Larkin (14.0 ppg). Defense remains key in Miami's game plan, as the team
holds opponents to just 39.1 percent shooting from the floor, en route to an
average yield of only 60.5 ppg.
Miami should be the favorite in this meeting, but the Sycamores are a scrappy
bunch that refused to go away quietly against San Diego State and that should
carry some weight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Indiana State 64, Miami-Florida 61
12/25 10:41:41 ET
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