#745 Illinois State University Redbirdsvs.#746 Southern Illinois University Salukis
Written by Benjamin Hayes
Illinois Sate Redbirds (12-4 SU, 9-6 ATS, 6-8-1 O/U) at Southern Illinois Salukis (10-7 SU, 8-5 ATS, 6-7 O/U)
When and Where: Wednesday, Jan. 11, SIU Arena, Carbondale, Ill., 8pmET
Line: Illinois State -5
Illinois State is off to a 4-0 start in the Missouri Valley Conference after beating Indiana State on the road on Saturday, 77-58. Southern Illinois opened at 3-1 in the MVC after beating Missouri State, 75-67 on Saturday. Last season, SIU beat Illinois State at home by three and lost on the road by 23.
Illinois State forward MiKyle McIntosh (6-7, 234) scored 31 points and grabbed six rebounds on 9-of-13 shooting in the Redbirds’ 19-point road win over the Sycamores. Deontae Hawkins added 14 points on 5-of-15 shooting. Phil Fayne (6-9, 200) controlled the boards with 11 caroms. Illinois State shot 43.3 percent from the floor and 13-of-25 (52%) from beyond the arc. They held Indiana State to just 40 percent shooting and outrebounded them by 16.
McIntosh averages 14.7 points per game and 6.7 rebounds. In his last two games, he’s scored 52 points, dished out seven assists and grabbed 12 rebounds. Hawkins leads in scoring with 14.8 points per game. The Redbirds average 72.9 points per game and shoot 38.1 percent from beyond the arc. They allow 63.6 points per game and 379 percent from the field (9th).
Mike Rodriguez scored 22 points on 7-of-8 shooting to lead Southern Illinois over Missouri State, 75-67. Thik Bol added 11 points and nine rebounds for the Salukis, who shot 41.2 percent from the field. SIU had four of their five starters scored in double figures. Defensively, they struggled some as they gave up 49.1 percent from the floor. They were also helped by the Bears, who shot just 10 of 18 from the foul line.
SIU lost guard Armon Fletcher indefinitely due to a foot injury. He was averaging 13.8 points per game and 4.0 rebounds. The Salukis are averaging 72.6 points per game and shooting 45.1 percent from the floor. They are allowing 71.4 points per game and 45 percent from the floor (40.3% 3pt).
College Basketball Trends:
Illinois State is:
Southern Illinois is:
The loss of Fletcher will be devastating for Southern Illinois. They found a way to beat Missouri State, but the Redbirds are not the Bears. Illinois State will take advantage of the Salukis’ poor defense, especially on the three-point shot.
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Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!