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The Indiana State Sycamores have lost three of their last four games heading into a road date with the Evansville Purple Aces at the Ford Center on Saturday afternoon. Indiana State is coming off a home setback against Missouri State on Tuesday. The Purple Aces have alternated losses and wins over their past six outings and they defeated Loyola-Chicago earlier this week.
Indiana State junior Jordan Barnes was named to the Lou Henson Award Mid-Season Watch List earlier this week (given annually to the nation’s top mid-major player). Barnes has hit 197 three-pointers in his career, good for fourth on ISU’s all-time list. He drained four more threes during a recent 78-74 road win over Wisconsin-Green Bay. Last season, Barnes hit a school-record 117 three-pointers–third best nationally and the fourth highest in the history of the Missouri Valley Conference (most ever by a sophomore). Barnes is currently second in the MVC with 2.8 three-balls per game. Moreover, he owns 998 career points and needs just two more to become the 39th member of the Indiana State 1,000-point Club. If he attains two more points against Evansville he will hit the 1,000 point mark in his 77th career game–the fifth-fastest to reach the mark in program history. Larry Bird boasts the school record hitting the 1,000 point milestone in just 31 career games.
Sycamores Set To Face Road Test At Evansville on Saturday Afternoon. Tipoff is set for 2 pm (ET) and will televised on ESPN3!#MarchOn 🏀🔵⚪️
— #MarchWentMad (@IndStMBB) January 11, 2019
Junior transfer Christian Williams averaged 9.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game against both Loyola-Chicago and Bradley this past week. He went 11-of-14 attempts from the free-throw line in the defeat of the Braves while delivering his second double-double in just six games of eligibility this season. Williams scored 18 points and tied a season-best with 11 rebounds in the win. He drew seven fouls in the game and made 14 trips to the charity stripe.
On top of the Hill
Putting together what was arguably its best game of the year, the Purple Aces defeated Loyola-Chicago 67-48 on Tuesday. Evansville enjoyed its best shooting night of the season, finishing at 52.9 percent; it marked the first time the team finished at 50 percent or higher this season. K.J. Riley went for 15 points, seven assists, and five rebounds, while Marty Hill and Shea Feehan scored 13 points apiece. Evansville held Loyola-Chicago to just 37.3 percent shooting and a horrendous 6-to-17 assist-to-turnover ratio. Trailing 6-5, UE went on a 13-0 run and proceeded to lead by double-figures for the duration. Evansville went 8-of-19 (42.1 percent) from three-point range; it was the first time UE shot 40 percent from the land of plenty since recording a 47.1 percent mark at Ball State.
Hill has been getting better and better with each game and he went 5-of-7 against Loyola-Chicago. He has been on fire from deep, hitting 13 of his last 23 such attempts. In the last two home games he is 8-of-11 from long distance. In the home win over Drake, Hill scored 24 points while hitting five out of seven three-pointers in 39 minutes of action.
The Evansville Purple Aces are:
- 5-1 ATS in their last six overall
- 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games
- 4-0 ATS in their last four games against teams with winning records
The Indiana State Sycamores are:
- 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games against the Missouri Valley Conference
- 0-6 ATS in their last six games following a double-digit home loss
- 5-1 Under in their last six games against the Missouri Valley Conference
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Aces have won three of the last four home games against Indiana State. Evansville enters Saturday’s game with an 8-1 mark in nine home games; it has excelled at home in recent years, going 10-1 to start the 2017-18 campaign, 9-1 in its first 10 games in 2016-17, and 11-0 to start 2015-16. Since holding Loyola-Chicago to 37.3 percent shooting, the Aces have rocketed to the top of the MVC standings in shooting defense; opponents are shooting just 41.5 percent. Over its last seven games, Evansville has held each opponent to 40.3 percent shooting or worse. The Purple Aces’ three-point defense is second in the conference (30.9 percent). MVC opponents are shooting a hopeless 19.6 percent against UE from deep. The Purple Aces are 5-2 ATS in their last seven following an ATS win and 12-5 ATS in their last 17 after allowing less than 50 points in their previous outing.
Prediction: Evansville Purple Aces
Full-Game Total Pick
Indiana State senior Emondre Rickman now owns 108 career blocked shots–one of only five Sycamores to record at least 100 blocked shots in program history. He needs one more to tie Nate Green for fourth. Through three MVC games, Evansville is allowing the opposition to shoot just 19.6. percent from the land of plenty. The under is 5-1 in the Sycamores’ last six against the Missouri Valley Conference and 5-0 in their last five following a loss. It is also 6-1 in the Purple Aces’ last seven overall, 5-1 in their last six against the Missouri Valley Conference, and 5-2 in their last seven on Saturdays. Look for this one to stay under the total.