Illinois State Redbirds (14-11) at Valparaiso Crusaders (12-14)
|Date & Time||Sunday February 11, 2018, 4:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Valparaiso Crusaders -5 -- Over/Under:
The Illinois State Redbirds will travel to the Athletics-Recreation Center to take on the Valparaiso Crusaders this Sunday afternoon in College Basketball action.
The Illinois State Redbirds won their 4th straight game and improved to 14-11 (8-5 MVC) on the season after defeating the Southern Illinois Salukis, 76-68 in OT, this past Thursday. Illinois State got a big 3-point play by Taylor Burninga to help the Redbirds to force OT and had no trouble pulling away for the victory after limited the Salukis to just 4-points in overtime. Illinois State held Southern Illinois to just 36.1% shooting from the field and 26.1% (6-23) from beyond the arc in the win. Leading the way for the Redbirds was Elijah Clarance who had 15 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. On the season, Illinois State is averaging 72.7 ppg on 43.1% shooting from the field. The Redbirds are averaging 9.1 three-pointers per game on 34.4% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Illinois State has been led by Milik Yarbrough (16.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 4.7 apg, 1.0 spg), Keyshawn Evans (15.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.4 apg), Phil Fayne (15.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.1 spg), and Madison Williams (6.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.1 spg). Defensively, Illinois State is allowing their opponents to average 73.9 ppg on 43.0% shooting from the field. The Redbirds have a rebound margin of -3.7 and a turnover margin of -0.1.
The Valparaiso Crusaders lost their 2nd straight game and dropped to 12-14 (3-10 MVC) on the season after being defeated by the Evansville Purple Aces, 63-59, this past Wednesday. Valparaiso struggled defensively against the Purple Aces and couldn’t fight back after an 11-0 Evansville run gave the Purple Aces a 51-43 lead with 5:58 left in regulation. Valparaiso allowed Evansville to shoot 46.8% from the field and 50.0% from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Crusaders was Bakari Evelyn who had 15 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. On the season, Valparaiso is averaging 70.0 ppg on 44.3% shooting from the field. The Crusaders are averaging 6.6 three-pointers per game on 32.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Valparaiso has been led by Tevonn Walker (14.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.9 spg), Bakari Evelyn (12.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.5 spg), Joe Burton (11.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg,), and Markus Golder (8.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.0 spg). Defensively, Valparaiso is holding their opponents to an average of 67.9 ppg on 41.9% shooting from the field. The Crusaders have a rebound margin of 1.0 and a turnover margin of -0.1.
The Redbirds are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 road games and just 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games following a straight up win. The Crusaders are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Sunday games and 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. MVC opponents.
Illinois State come into this matchup ranked just 230th in scoring defense and 125th in defensive FG%, however, the Redbirds have won 5 of their last 7 games and have held their opponents in those victories to just 64.2 ppg. Valparaiso have lost 7 of their last 8 games and has really struggled offensively this season as the Crusaders currently rank just 271st in scoring offense, 202nd in FG%, and 286th in 3P-FG%. Illinois State is just 3-7 on the road this season however, I liked how the Redbirds defense has played as of late and I think they’ll give the Crusaders offense trouble, I’m taking Illinois State and the points in this one.