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It’s a battle of Missouri Valley Conference teams on the hardwood in the Hoosier State. The Southern Illinois Salukis make the trip to face the Indiana State Sycamores Saturday afternoon. Southern Illinois comes in off a 72-69 home loss to Drake in their last game Tuesday night. Indiana State knocked off Valparaiso 87-82 in overtime on the road Wednesday night. The Salukis lead the all-time series 65-32 and have won the last seven meetings. That includes an 88-73 home win in the first meeting this season January 30.
Southern Illinois Salukis Look to Even Conference Mark
Southern Illinois lost for the second time in three games as they ended up falling short to Drake their last time out. The Salukis are tied for fifth in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 6-7 conference mark, 3.5 games behind Loyola-Chicago. Southern Illinois trailed by seven at the half and got no closer than two the rest of the way: that came at 68-66 with 24 seconds to play. The Salukis shot 43.8 percent from the field, five of 15 from three-point range, and lost the rebounding battle 41-30. Armon Fletcher led Southern Illinois led the way with 21 points and eight rebounds in the loss.
— Saluki Basketball (@SIU_Basketball) February 13, 2019
The Salukis put up an average of 68.2 points a night on the season. Southern Illinois grabs 33 rebounds per contest and hands out 14.1 assists a contest. The Salukis are solid on the defensive end of the floor as they are 86th by allowing 67.8 points per contest. Armon Fletcher leads the team with 14.7 points plus 5.5 rebounds per contest. Aaron Cook chips in 11.2 points a night, Eric McGill adds 10.3 points per contest, Kavion Pippen chips in 12.4 points a night and Sean Lloyd Jr. contributes 10.5 points a game. Marcus Bartley, Thik Bol, Rudy Stradnieks, Darius Beane and Brendon Gooch all are locked into hefty minutes a night to help the Salukis. Southern Illinois cashes in on 46.4 percent of their shots from the floor. The Salukis drain 6.8 triples a night but shoot 37.5 percent from beyond the arc as a team. Southern Illinois is mediocre at the free throw line as they hit 68.6 percent of their attempts.
Indiana State Sycamores Seek Back to Back Conference Wins
Indiana State had dropped four of five before upending Valparaiso in their last contest. The Sycamores are ninth in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 5-8 mark, four games behind Loyola-Chicago in the standings. Indiana State was up three at the half before ending up in overtime. In the extra session, the Sycamores opened on an 8-1 run to take the upper hand and the win. Indiana State shot 42.9 percent from the field, including eight of 19 from three-point range, and lost the rebounding battle 37-29 in the game. Tyreke Key led the Sycamores with 32 points and six steals in the win.
— Sycamore Basketball (@IndStMBB) February 14, 2019
The Sycamores put up an average of 70.4 points per contest on the season. Indiana State pulls down 33.1 rebounds per contest and dishes out 11.4 assists per game. The Sycamores are below average on the defensive end of the floor as they are 208th in scoring defense by allowing 72.4 points per game. Indiana State is led by Jordan Barnes, who puts up 15.5 points per game. Tyreke Key is the only other player in double figures for the Sycamores with 17.3 points and 3.7 boards per contest. Devin Thomas, Clayton Hughes, Christian Williams, Cooper Neese, Emondre Rickman, Bronson Kessinger, De’Avion Washington and Allante Holston have to contribute for the Sycamores to sustain any kind of success. Indiana State shoots 44.7 percent from the field as a team this season. The Sycamores knock down 5.6 threes a night while hitting 36.8 percent from beyond the arc. Indiana State is decent at the line, as they have hit 73 percent at the charity stripe this season.
- Sycamores are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win
- Sycamores are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS win
- Salukis are 12-2 ATS in the last 14 meetings
- Salukis are 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings in Indiana State
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Indiana State managed to pick up a win in their last game but they’re going to have a tough time here. The Sycamores have to be better defensively in this one than they were in the first meeting this season. Southern Illinois is a good perimeter shooting team and they have five guys averaging in double figures. That means you can’t just key on one guy in order to shut down the Salukis. Indiana State doesn’t have the weapons to keep up here. Look for Southern Illinois to get the win on the road here.
Prediction: Southern Illinois Salukis +1
Full-Game Total Pick
Both teams are mediocre on the offensive end of the floor this season. Southern Illinois is 290th in scoring offense while Indiana State is 247th in that category. That doesn’t seem to stop these teams from putting up hefty point totals when they square off against each other. Three-point shooting and defense will be important in this one as both teams are proficient on one end and struggle on the other. Southern Illinois is 44th in three-point percentage compared to ranking 252nd in three-point percentage defense. Indiana State is 65th in three-point percentage and 193rd in three-point percentage defense. Can the Salukis play their usual solid defense to come up with the victory?
The over is 5-2 in the Salukis’ last 7 overall and 5-2 in their last seven against Missouri Valley Conference opponents. Indiana State has seen the over go 4-1 in their last five overall, 4-1 in their last five against Missouri Valley opponents and 9-3 in their last 12 after an ATS win. The teams have gone over the total in each of their last four meetings at Indiana State and in each of their last six meetings overall. We saw these teams put up a solid point total in the first meeting this season: this one ends up over the number as well.
Prediction: Over 136.5