Indiana State (5-2) at Eastern Illinois (3-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 7, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Lantz Arena (5,300) -- Charleston, Illinois. Television: WTWO-TV. Home Record: ISU 2-0, EIU 2-1. Away Record: ISU 2-1, EIU 1-4. Neutral Record: ISU 1-1, EIU 0-0. Conference Record: ISU 0-0, EIU 0-0. Series Record: Indiana State leads, 85-36.
GAME NOTES: The Indiana State Sycamores begin a three-game road trip on Saturday night with a non-conference clash against the Eastern Illinois Panthers.
The Sycamores have won their last two contests, but haven't played since beating Alaska-Anchorage and Pepperdine on back-to-back days at the Great Alaska Shootout. A week ago, Justin Gant had a solid all-around performance with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor, to go with four rebounds and four assists as he led the Sycamores to a 73-70 victory over the Pepperdine Waves in the fifth-place game.
In the first-ever meeting between the teams, senior guard Jake Odum scored 16 points for the Sycamores. Devonte Brown came off the bench to net nine points while collecting three rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block. The Sycamores shot 6-of-12 from 3-point range in the contest.
Gant leads the way and is one of five players averaging double figures in scoring for the Sycamores. He is averaging 13.9 points, which is close to the number from Odum (13.6). Manny Arop, Dawon Cummings (10.9) and Khristian Smith (10.4), along with Brown (9.7 ppg) are all key contributors to a team that is averaging 81.7 points and is shooting nearly 46 percent from beyond the 3- point line. The Sycamores are very effective finding their positions on the court. as the team is shooting 51.4 percent overall.
EIU is coming off a 60-32 loss at Western Illinois on Wednesday. The 32 points were a direct result of horrific shooting, as the team hit a season-low 24.0 percent from the field. Additionally, the Panthers were outrebounded, 42-33. On the positive side, EIU is second in the conference in blocked shots (6.3 bpg). Smith paces the club in scoring (13.1), but is the only double-digit scorer. Alex green is second (9.1 ppg) followed by Dennis Green (8.3 ppg) and Sherman Blanford (7.4). Austin is averaging 16.3 points per game at home this season and has gone 15-of-28 from the field, including 11-of-20 from 3-point range. The Panthers rank third in the conference in scoring defense (68.4 ppg).
Indiana State is 40-4 when holding teams to 63 points or less under head coach Greg Lansing. With the Panthers averaging 62.8 points, that doesn't bode well for head coach Jay Spoonhour and his squad.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Indiana State 84, Eastern Illinois 70
12/07 10:33:22 ET