When and where: December 7, 2019, Nutter Center, Dayton, OH, 2:00 PM ET
A clash between the Missouri Valley Conference and Horizon League takes center stage on Saturday when the Indiana State Sycamores go head-to-head with the Wright State Raiders. The Raiders have rolled with the punches after getting knocked out in a 72-70 loss to La Salle. They have returned to their winning ways with nail-biting victories over Western Kentucky and Miami (Ohio). Meanwhile, Indiana State has stormed back into the win column with four consecutive victories over Loyola Marymount, Air Force, Missouri-St. Louis and North Dakota State.
Indiana State rolls to fourth straight winIt didn’t take the Sycamores long to climb out of the 0-4 hole they created for themselves at the beginning of the season. Tuesday’s 71-60 victory over North Dakota State marked the fourth consecutive win for the Sycamores and brought their overall record to 4-4.
Now, they’ll turn their attention towards breaking an even .500 win percentage and boasting a winning record for the first time this season.
They’ll have the arduous task of going into the Nutter Center in Dayton and defeating Wright State to do so. The Raiders are scoring an average of 77.2 points per game, while ranking 97th in the country in offensive efficiency. Indiana State coach Greg Lansing has likely been twisting his brain into pretzels trying to figure out ways of slowing them down with one of the nation’s worst defenses.
Unless Lansing is a miracle worker, his only hope will be Tyreke Key leading the Sycamores to victory in an offensive shootout. It’s the only realistic option against a Wright State team allowing 71.7 points per game The Sycamores will need Jordan Barnes and Cooper Neese to be greater offensive threats if they have any hope of coming away with an upset.
Offense is key for Wright StateThe Raiders are fortunate they don’t have to depend on their defense to win basketball games. It wouldn’t be a good look with them allowing a 43.7 field goal shooting percentage to opponents. The team is also giving up 71.7 points per game. Those defensive limitations are a big reason why they’ve been riding the struggle bus with near losses to Miami (Ohio) and Western Kentucky.
But the offense has been game-changing.
Even without center Loudon Love on the floor, the combination of Bill Wampler and Cole Gentry has lifted the Raiders offense and helped carry the team to a 7-3 record on the season. They’ll be like sharks in bloody waters when facing a Sycamores defense allowing an average 46.7 shooting percentage on the road.
It also doesn’t help matters for Indiana State with the Raiders averaging plus-10 in rebounds. That average obviously doesn’t take into account the absence of Love. He was averaging 13.6 points and 8.7 rebounds before going down with an injury.
The Raiders could just be scratching the surface of what they’re capable of doing once Love returns.
The supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Sycamores are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games following an ATS win.
- Sycamores are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up win.
- Raiders are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 home games.
- Raiders are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 Saturday games.
- Raiders are 9-0 ATS in their last 9 home games against a team with a losing road record.
- Raiders are 13-6 ATS in their last 19 games overall.