#748 Missouri State University Bearsvs.#747 University of Evansville Purple Aces
Written by Benjamin Hayes
Evansville Purple Aces (10-7 SU, 5-8 ATS, 6-7 O/U) at Missouri State Bears (11-6 SU, 6-8 ATS, 10-4 O/U)
When and Where: Wednesday, Jan. 11., JQH Arena, Springfield, Mo., 8pmET
Line: Missouri State -7
Evansville is 1-3 in the Missouri Valley Conference after losing at Drake, 88-76. The Purple Aces face Missouri State, who fell at home to Southern Illinois on Saturday, 75-67. Last season, Evansville won all three games against the Bears, including a 66-56 win in the MVC Tournament.
Evansville allowed 50 points in the second half on Sunday and fell to Drake by 12 on the road. That’s despite shooting 48.3 percent from the floor and 7-of-17 from the 3-point line (7-of-17). Guard Jaylon Brown led the Purple Aces with 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Duane Gibson added 14 points, six rebounds and six assists. Drake shot 45.9 percent from the floor and 23-of-25 (92%) from the line. Evansville also couldn’t slow down Reed Timmer, who scored 28 points for the Purple Aces.
The Purple Aces average 68.9 points per game and shoot 44.5 percent from the field (37% 3pt). They allow 66.9 points per game and 41.5 percent from the field. Brown leads the Purple Aces with 21.1 points per game and shoots 47.7 percent from the field (42.6% 3pt).
Missouri State shot 49.1 percent from the floor, outrebounded Southern Illinois and turned the ball over just 12 times on Saturday at home. They also received a strong game from forward Obediah Church (6-7, 217), who had 11 points, six rebounds and five blocks. Jarred Dixon led the Bears with 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting. But the Bears shot just 10-of-18 from the foul line and fell by eight at home. While Missouri State was struggling at the line, Southern Illinois made 20 of 24 from the charity stripe.
On the season, the Bears average 76.5 points per game and they shoot 46.2 percent from the field (36.3% 3pt). They allow 66.3 points per game and 41.7 percent from the field. Guard Ronnie Rousseau III averages 11.6 points and 2.9 assists but is out indefinitely due to a personal issue.
College Basketball Trends:
Missouri State is:
Neither team is a threat to beat Wichita State in the MVC. However, Missouri State should not be a 7-point favorite without Rousseau. Expect this game to come down to the wire.
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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!