SIU Edwardsville (8-11) at Southeast Missouri State (11-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 7, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Show Me Center (6,972) -- Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Television: None. Home Record: SIUE 7-3, SEMO 7-4. Away Record: SIUE 1-8, SEMO 4-7. Neutral Record: SIUE 0-0, SEMO 0-2. Conference Record: SIUE 4-5, SEMO 3-7. Series Record: SE Missouri State leads, 13-5.
GAME NOTES: The SIU Edwardsville Cougars hope to bring out the brooms for a series sweep as they tangle with the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks in an Ohio Valley Conference matchup at the Show Me Center.
The Redhawks own a 13-5 all-time series edge over SIUE, but the Cougars used a big second half surge to escape their Jan. 24 meeting with SEMO with an 80-77 win. In that first bout, SEMO took a nine-point lead into the intermission. However, after shooting 56.3 percent in the first half, it cooled off to shoot under 40 percent (39.3) from the field in the second period. SIUE went 27- of-52 from the field (51.9 percent) and drained 7-of-11 from beyond the arc en route to the decision.
Lennox Forrester's Cougars used a tremendous defensive effort to down Eastern Illinois, 49-45, on Saturday to improve to an 8-11 overall record and a 4-5 mark in OVC action. The 45 points posted by EIU were the fewest by an opponent in SIUE's Division I history. SIUE has come out of four of its last six games victorious with Jerome Jones and Mark Yelovich spearheading the charge. Jones is netting a team-high 15.2 points per game on 44.6 percent shooting from the field to go along with 5.1 boards per outing. Yelovich is chiming in with 10.9 points and a team-best 5.9 rebounds a game. Despite the recent success, the Cougars are still second to last in the OVC in scoring offense (62.5) and give up a slightly higher mark of 64.9 ppg to their opponents.
Yelovich and Jones scored 13 and 10 points, respectively, in SIUE's low- scoring affair against the Panthers over the weekend. Kris Davis added 11 points as the Cougars held EIU to 1-of-17 shooting from beyond the arc. SIUE actually trailed by as many as 10 points before generating 15-2 and 7-2 runs late in the second stanza to capture the home victory. SIUE will now try to duplicate that success on the road, where it is just 1-8 on the campaign.
SEMO is coming off of an 81-72 loss to Eastern Kentucky that marks its third loss in a row. The Redhawks have lost seven of their last eight games overall to fall to 11-13 and 3-7 in OVC play. Coach Dickey Nutt's squad is 7-4 at the Show Me Center, but two of those wins came over non-Division I foes. The Redhawks are led by Tyler Stone, who is producing 16.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Corey Wilford (14.8 ppg) and Nino Johnson (11.0 ppg, 8.6 rpg) are both carrying double-digit scoring averages as well to help the team net 71.3 ppg. Defensively, SEMO is giving up 70.9 ppg.
The Redhawks lost by nine points to EKU on Saturday despite a game-high 27- points from Wilford. Stone added 16 points, but the Colonels managed to hold a 27-12 edge in points from 3-point range and a 20-13 advantage in points off turnovers to come out on top. Southeast held a slight halftime lead before allowing EKU to hit 53.8 percent of its field goal tries in the second stanza.
The Cougars have picked up a little momentum, but they will find it much more difficult to clip the Redhawks on their own court. It will be a hard-fought contest, but SEMO's homecourt advantage gives it a slight edge.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: SE Missouri State 71, SIU Edwardsville 66
02/07 10:34:08 ET