Indiana State (4-2) at Morehead State (4-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 8, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ellis T. Johnson Arena (6,500) -- Morehead, Kentucky. Television: None. Home Record: Indiana State 3-1, Morehead State 3-1. Away Record: Indiana State 1-1, Morehead State 0-4. Neutral Record: Indiana State 0-0, Morehead State 1-0. Conference Record: Indiana State 0-0, Morehead State 0-0. Series Record: Morehead State leads, 3-2.
GAMES NOTES: The Morehead State Eagles will try to put an end to a three-game losing skid when the Indiana State Sycamores come to town for a non-conference battle at Ellis T. Johnson Arena.
For Indiana State this game will be the first since a tough 77-68 overtime loss to New Mexico. The Sycamores gave the 18th-ranked Lobos quite a run and tied the game on a Jake Odum layup to send it into overtime. In the extra frame Indiana State just didn't have enough to pull off the upset. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Sycamores who are 4-2 overall this season. Indiana State is beginning a five-game stint away from home that continues against IUPUI before the Diamond Head Classic.
After falling 69-57 on its home floor to North Dakota State, Morehead State is now 4-5 on the season and loser of three straight and four of its last five. The Eagles' loss to NDSU was the first defeat at home for them and only the second defeat to come by a double-digit margin. Morehead State will be off for nearly two weeks before a two-game road stint that includes a rematch with North Dakota State.
After not matching up for nearly 30 years, the Sycamores and Eagles met up during the 2010-11 season. In that game Morehead State came away with a 71-65 win to take a 3-2 lead in the all-time series.
Indiana State trailed by as many as 19 points against New Mexico but came roaring back in the second half by shooting 52.0 percent while holding the Lobos to a 5-of-25 effort from the floor. However New Mexico scored the first five points of the extra session and the Sycamores missed their last three field goal attempts to take the loss. Odum carried the team with 25 points while Manny Arop had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
The Sycamores won't blow anyone away with their offensive production. Indiana State is ranked near the bottom of the Missouri Valley Conference in a number of categories including points (67.8 pg), eighth), assists (10.5 pg, 10th) and field goal percentage (43.9, ninth). The Sycamores are also suffering from a -3.2 deficit on the boards but has managed to limit opponents to 64.2 points per game on 39.8 percent shooting. Odum (15.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.7 apg) is the lead scorer but provides much more across the board. Odum isn't just a productive scorer but an efficient one as well, shooting at a 52.0 percent clip. Arop (9.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg) is a very good rebounder out of the backcourt and is the second leading scorer on a team that features six different players putting in at least seven points a game.
Morehead State dug itself into a hole against North Dakota State and trailed 33-19 at halftime by hitting on 26.7 percent of its shots in the first half, including an 0-of-9 showing from beyond the arc. It didn't get much better in the second half with the Eagles connecting on 33.3 percent of their field goal attempts. The loss came despite the Eagles forcing 22 turnovers. Angelo Warner netted 14 points to pace the team before fouling out.
Milton Chavis (14.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg) is normally the top scorer for Morehead State, but was limited to just two points on 1-of-7 shooting against North Dakota State. That kind of struggle on offense has been rare for Chavis, who is shooting at an even 50.0 percent clip on the year. No other player is scoring more than 10 points per game, while Angelo Warner (8.1 ppg) is second on the scorers' list. Even though there are not a ton of scoring threats the Eagles are still netting a decent 70.6 points per game. The Eagles are just outscoring their opponents (+1.9), while holding an advantage in rebounds (+3.4) as well. Kahlil Owens (6.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and Chad Posthumus (6.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg) power the teams' efforts on the glass.
Although it couldn't finish the Lobos off, Indiana State showed a lot of resiliency in rallying back from a major deficit. Playing on the road might slow Indiana State down but the Sycamores should be able to handle the Eagles.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Indiana State 67, Morehead State 60
12/08 10:37:28 ET