It’s a clash of mid-major programs as the Missouri Valley Conference tangles with the Horizon League on the hardwood. The Indiana State Sycamores are on the road as they make the trip to face the Green Bay Phoenix Friday afternoon. Indiana State opened their season with an 86-69 road loss to Ball State Tuesday night. Green Bay recorded a 110-54 romp over Wisconsin Lutheran in their season opening game Tuesday night. The teams have split four previous meetings with the Sycamores taking the last two. That includes an 85-63 rout at home in the last matchup on December 12, 2017.
Indiana State Sycamores Try to Bounce Back From Season Opening Loss
Indiana State hung tough for a half against in-state rival Ball State on the road but things fell apart in the second half. The Sycamores now try to regroup after dropping their season-opening contest. Indiana State battled to a 32-32 tie at intermission but was outscored 54-37 in the second half to end up a double digit loser. Cold shooting doomed the Sycamores in the game as they finished the contest shooting 38.8 percent from the floor. Indiana State was six of 12 from beyond the arc but clanked seven of their 18 free throw attempts in the loss.
— Sycamore Basketball (@IndStMBB) November 7, 2018
Jordan Barnes (five rebounds, four assists) and Tyreke Key (seven boards, four assists) each had 16 points to lead Indiana State in defeat. Devin Thomas chipped in 10 points plus four rebounds while senior center Emondre Rickman contributed nine points, seven rebounds and three blocks in a losing effort. He’s going to have to improve at the foul line or the Sycamores will face the Hack-a-Shaq strategy late in games if he’s on the floor. Rickman was three of eight from the floor in the game but that was better than his three of nine showing at the free throw line. He’s a 46.7 percent career shooter at the stripe. Indiana State is going to have to be better defensively as they allowed the Cardinals to shoot 49.2 percent from the floor in the contest.
Green Bay Phoenix Seek to Rise to 2-0
Green Bay had an easy time in their season opener as they dispatched a badly overmatched Wisconsin Lutheran program Tuesday. The Phoenix jumped to a 9-0 lead just over two and a half minutes into the game and didn’t look back. Green Bay cruised to a 59-20 halftime advantage and continued to pour it on while giving their reserves some run. That will be beneficial as the bench guys won’t be shellshocked when they are called upon later in the season when games are more meaningful. The Phoenix shot 55.3 percent from the field in the contest, including six of 20 from three point range. Green Bay also won the rebounding battle 48-36 and forced 33 turnovers in the win.
Check out @SandyCohenIII dribbling through the OPPONENT'S legs on this steal and breakaway bucket!
— Green Bay Basketball (@gbphoenixmbb) November 6, 2018
Manny Patterson (six rebounds) and T.J. Parham (three assists, two steals) each had 14 off the bench to lead Green Bay. Shanquan Hemphill (four steals) added 13 points, Sandy Cohen III (four boards, three assists, three steals) chipped in 12, and the trio of Jevon Smith, JayQuan McCloud (six boards, six assists) and Hunter Crist each had 10 in the victory. Green Bay recorded 26 steals in the triumph while holding Wisconsin Lutheran to 32.8 percent from the field, including six of 24 from three point range. One has to think that this one will be at least a bit more of a challenge.
- Phoenix are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400
- Phoenix are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game
- Phoenix are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400
- Sycamores are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games overall
- Sycamores are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record
- Sycamores are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up loss
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Indiana State showed that they still have some work to do if they hope to contend in the Missouri Valley Conference as they were stifled by Ball State in the second half. Green Bay had seven players in double figures and got meaningful minutes for their bench guys as they trounced an overmatched team. While that doesn’t mean much when the games ount for real, it gives the Phoenix a leg up on the Sycamores as their reserves showed they can step up when needed. Green Bay is at home here and after seeing Indiana State wilt in their road opener, you have to look to the Phoenix here.
Prediction: Green Bay Phoenix +1.5