Drake (12-11) at Indiana State (17-6)

GAME NOTES: Indiana State tries to avoid back-to-back defeats for the first time this season, as the Sycamores clash with the Drake Bulldogs in Missouri Valley Conference action at the Hulman Center this afternoon.

For the second time this season, the Sycamores battled nationally-ranked Wichita State and came up on the losing end, suffering a 65-58 setback on Wednesday night at home. The setback was the first for ISU at the Hulman Center this year, dropping the program to 8-3 in MVC action in the process.

As for the Bulldogs, they are at the other end of the conference standings with only three victories in 11 opportunities. Earlier this week, Drake was upended by Southern Illinois at home, 74-58, marking the program's second straight loss and the third in four tries.

Indiana State has won eight of the last 11 meetings with the Bulldogs, propelling the Sycamores to a 41-37 advantage in the all-time series.

In the most recent outing at the Knapp Center on Tuesday night, the Bulldogs fell behind right out of the gate, 22-10, and never recovered as they lost to the Salukis by 16 points. Drake was led by a pair of double-digit performances by Chris Caird and Richard Carter who tallied 19 and 17 points, respectively. However, beyond those two, no one else on the team scored more than five points, leaving Caird and Carter to do all the work. The squad shot just 36.7 percent from the floor for the entire game and a disappointing 13-of-20 at the free-throw line.

One of only two players to have started every game for the Bulldogs, it only makes sense that Carter is the leading scorer for the program with 17.0 ppg. But in addition to filling up the basket himself, Carter is more than willing to share the spotlight with teammates, which has driven him to hand out 82 assists, more than twice the number than all but one of his teammates. Jordan Daniels, who shot only 1-of-7 from the floor and finished with five points against SIU, is listed as the only other active double-digit performer with the Bulldogs as he puts up 12.3 ppg.

After 20 minutes of play, the Sycamores found themselves behind by just a single point at home against Wichita State, but then the hosts struggled in a big way, shooting a mere 6-of-30 from the floor, including 2-of-15 behind the 3-point line, to close out the meeting and suffer yet another heartbreaking defeat. Manny Arop tried to keep hope alive as he tallied 16 points and nine rebounds, followed by Jake Odum and Khristian Smith with 11 points apiece and a combined 13 boards.

In conference play, the Sycamores have been leaning heavily on their defense, which limits opponents to only 65.7 ppg, although foes have also been doling themselves by shooting just 64.6 percent at the free-throw line. Leading a quartet of double-digit scorers at the moment is Dawon Cummings with his 12.5 ppg, followed by Smith (12.4 ppg), Odum (11.0 ppg) and Arop (10.4 ppg) as they help the program to generate a modest 68.5 ppg. Odum, just a 20.8 percent shooter beyond the arc, is first with 49 assists in 11 conference starts.

As long as the Sycamores can again be aggressive at the defensive end of the floor and spread out the offensive responsibilities, the odds are in their favor that they'll come out ahead today.

GAME NOTES: Indiana State tries to avoid back-to-back defeats for the first time this season, as the Sycamores clash with the Drake Bulldogs in Missouri Valley Conference action at the Hulman Center this afternoon.

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