Two Missouri Valley Conference rivals face off against one another on Wednesday when the Valparaiso Beacons (10-15, 4-10 MVC) visit Terre Haute, Indiana and the Hulman Center to play against the Indiana State Sycamores (16-9, 9-5 MVC). Valparaiso lost to Drake 85-82 in double-overtime on Saturday for their second consecutive loss to bring them to the third-worst conference record. Indiana State defeated Murray State 99-56 on Saturday for their third consecutive victory but remained fifth in the MVC by one game below the four-way tie for first. Valparaiso is going to be without sophomore guard Preston Rudinger as he is sidelined for the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury while Indiana State is fully healthy.
Defense needs to step up for Valparaiso’s successValparaiso is within one game of first place in the Missouri Valley Conference thanks to excellent defense as the Beacons are holding opponents to an average of 73.5 points (259th) per game. Opponents are shooting 44.8% (229th) overall and 34.1% (191st) from 3-point territory. Valparaiso’s offense has struggled at times as the Beacons are scoring an average of only 68.3 points (233rd) per game, while shooting 43.4% (220th) overall and 29.4% (344th) from three-point land.
Ben Krikke is the leading scorer for Valparaiso with an average of 18.5 points per game while shooting only 53.5% overall, but 24.5% from three-point land. Kobe King is the second leading scorer with an average of 16.5 points per game while shooting only 41.9% overall and 20.8% from three-point land. The next four scorers for Valparaiso are shooting 43% or less. Nick Edwards is the leader in assists with an average of 5.2 dishes per contest. On the boards, Valparaiso averages 34.4 rebounds per game led by Krikke with an average of six boards per game. Edwards is the leader in steals with an average of 1.7 per game and Krikke is leading the program with 0.7 blocks per game.
Indiana State trying to climb the MVCIndiana State is allowing an average of 69.4 points (158th) per game, while holding opponents to a field goal shooting percentage of 42.1% (82nd) and a three-point shooting percentage of 32.1% (90th). Indiana State has done well on offense, averaging 77.5 points (34th) per game, while shooting 47.8% overall (25th) and 34.4% (163rd) from three-point land. Courvoisier McCauley is the leading scorer for Indiana State with an average of 16.5 points per game, while shooting 44.1% overall and 37.5% from behind the line.
𝘓𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥, 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥, 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘺 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥…— Indiana State Basketball (@IndStBasketball) February 7, 2023
The Sycamores are 7-2 in their baby blues this season😮💨#MarchOn | #Kaizen pic.twitter.com/V3ALrscZIr
Cameron Henry is the second-best in scoring with an average of 10.8 points per game while shooting 52.3% overall and 34% from behind the line. Each of the next two high scorers for Indiana State is shooting 46.4% or higher. Henry is the leader in assists with an average of 3.9 dishes per contest. On the boards, Indiana State averages 34.3 rebounds per game led by McCauley with an average of 5.8 boards per contest. Robbie Avila is also the leader in blocked shots with an average of 0.4 swats per game, while Henry is the leader in steals with an average of 1.3 per game.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Looking at the adjusted efficiency margin provided by KenPom, Indiana State is 105th in the sport with a +5.92 rating while Valparaiso is all the way down at 277th in college basketball with a -8.43 rating thus far. There is a difference throughout the previous four games on the defensive side of the ball as the Beacons are allowing 76.8 points per game while the Sycamores are giving up just 65.5 points per game in that stretch. Go with the Indiana State Sycamores to cover the spread in their own building here.
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Full-Game Total Pick
Both programs are pushing the pace throughout the season as Valparaiso is 107th in the nation with 71.7 possessions per game while Indiana State is 53rd in the country with 73 possessions per game. These offenses have been doing extremely well in their previous three games as the Beacons are averaging 76.7 points per game while the Sycamores are scoring a massive 87 points per game. All in all, go with the over in this game to hit here.