Evansville Purple Aces (15-9) at Illinois State Redbirds (12-11)
|Date & Time||Saturday February 3, 2018, 4:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Illinois State Redbirds -5.5 -- Over/Under: 134
The Evansville Purple Aces will travel to Redbird Arena to take on the Illinois State Redbirds this Saturday afternoon in College Basketball action.
The Evansville Purple Aces won their 3rd straight game and improved to 15-9 (5-6 MVC) on the season after defeating the Northern Iowa Panthers, 57-49, this past Wednesday. Evansville gave the Northern Iowa offense trouble throughout the game and pulled away in the 2nd half after a 6-0 Purple Aces run gave Evansville a 53-42 lead with 4:10 left in regulation. Evansville held Northern Iowa to just 31.3% shooting from the field and 23.1% (6-26) from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Purple Aces was Ryan Taylor who had 25 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and a block. On the season, Evansville is averaging 67.5 ppg on 45.5% shooting from the field. The Purple Aces are averaging 5.8 three-pointers per game on 43.3% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Evansville has been led by Ryan Taylor (20.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.2 apg), Dru Smith (13.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.8 apg, 2.2 spg), Blake Simmons (11.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.0 spg), and K.J. Riley (7.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.9 apg). Defensively, Evansville is holding their opponents to an average of 64.8 ppg on 42.7% shooting from the field. The Purple Aces have a rebound margin of 2.6 and a turnover margin of 0.1. The Purple Aces will be without Dru Smith who is out until late February due to a foot injury.
The Illinois State Redbirds won their 2nd straight game and improved to 12-11 (6-5 MVC) on the season after defeating the Missouri State Bears, 76-60, this past Tuesday. Illinois State led by a 30-21 margin at halftime and pulled away after taking a 59-34 lead with 9:13 left in regulation. Illinois State held Missouri State to 32.3% shooting from the field and 17.4% (4-23) from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Redbirds was Milik Yarbrough who had 15 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 block, and a steal. On the season, Illinois State is averaging 72.4 ppg on 43.1% shooting from the field. The Redbirds are averaging 9.1 three-pointers per game on 34.5% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Illinois State has been led by Milik Yarbrough (16.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 4.6 apg, 1.0 spg), Keyshawn Evans (16.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.5 apg), Phil Fayne (16.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.1 spg), and Madison Williams (6.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.1 spg). Defensively, Illinois State is allowing their opponents to average 74.3 ppg on 43.3% shooting from the field. The Redbirds have a rebound margin of -4.6 and a turnover margin of 0.0.
The Purple Aces are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games after allowing less than 50 points in their previous games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 Saturday games. The Redbirds are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 and 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 Saturday games.
Evansville has been on a nice roll as of late and come into this matchup led by their defense that ranks 26th in scoring defense. Illinois State has won just 3 of their last 7 games and have been nothing more than average on either end of the court this season as they rank 221st in scoring offense and 232nd in scoring defense. Illinois state has been a bit inconstant this season however, the Redbirds are 7-3 at home this season and as I just don’t think the Purple Aces will be able to put up enough points with Dru Smith out, I’m taking Illinois State to cover this spread.