Illinois State (7-3) at Dayton (8-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, December 19, 7 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: UD Arena (13,435) -- Dayton, Ohio. Television: WHIO. Home Record: ISU 5-1, UD 5-1. Away Record: ISU 1-1, UD 1-0. Neutral Record: ISU 1-1, UD 2-1. Conference Record: ISU 0-0, UD 0-0. Series Record: Dayton leads, 4-1.
GAME NOTES: The Dayton Flyers will try to keep rolling along tonight when the Illinois State Redbirds visit UD Arena for a non-conference tilt.
Dayton has won four in a row and seven of its last eight contests overall. The Flyers were in action this past Saturday, posting an 81-56 triumph over Florida Atlantic. Tonight's outing is the third of a four-game homestand.
Illinois State is off to a 7-3 start, with one of those losses coming in overtime to Northwestern in the South Padre Invitational, and another coming by a narrow three-point margin at No. 6 Louisville earlier this month. The Redbirds have since gotten back on track with two straight wins, including Sunday's 87-68 rout of Morgan State.
Dayton has won four of the five meetings in the all-time series against Illinois State.
Jackie Carmichael led the way for the Redbirds in their recent win over Morgan State, as he poured in a career-best 30 points to go along with a game-high nine rebounds. He also went 12-of-13 from the free throw line, accounting for nearly half of the team's season-high 25 points at the charity stripe. Seventeen of those free throws came after halftime as ISU was able to fend off a late rally by the Bears. Jon Ekey chipped in with 18 points and Bryant Allen scored 13 for the Redbirds, who shot 50.9 percent from the floor and scored 27 points off 24 MSU turnovers. On the season, Carmichael paces the squad with 17.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per tilt. He is shooting a solid 57.4 percent from the floor while also averaging better than two blocks. Tyler Brown (17.5 ppg) and Allen (10.0 ppg) round out the team's double-digit scorers.
Dayton boasts a balanced offensive attack with a deep bench rotation. Kevin Dillard, a 41 percent shooter from beyond the arc (18-of-44), leads the way with 15.1 ppg. Vee Sanford is next in line with 12.1 ppg, while Josh Benson (11.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and Devin Oliver (10.9 ppg, 8.7 rpg) provide a solid post presence. As a team, the Flyers are shooting 47.2 percent from the floor and are +10.5 in scoring margin and +6.2 on the boards. On Saturday, they outrebounded FAU (45-31) and held the Owls to 30.2 percent shooting for the game. Matt Derenbecker came off the bench to knock down 5-of-8 3-point tries, finishing with a team-high 15 points. Dillard added 14 points, Oliver posted a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds, and Sanford tallied 12 points. Reserve Jalen Robinson also pulled down 14 boards to go along with his five points.
Both teams are playing pretty well right now, but Dayton's rebounding prowess will present quite a matchup problem for the Redbirds. While the game figures to be tight, the Flyers should be able to ride their size advantage to another home victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Dayton 72, Illinois State 67
12/19 10:40:07 ET