Sycamores and Redbirds face off in normal-to-closed regular season slate

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Playing what will be its fourth game in seven days, Indiana State basketball wraps up its regular season on Saturday with a trip to Normal, Ill., to take on Illinois State. Tip is set at 4 p.m. ET from Redbird Arena with the game airing on ESPN3 as well as radio on 105.5 The Legend and GoSycamores.com/Listen.

THE SERIES

Saturday will mark the 129th meeting between the two programs with Illinois State leading the series 67-61. The Sycamores are 41-20 at home, 19-42 on the road and 2-5 at neutral against Illinois State. The Platanes have won the last three meetings of the series after sweeping the ILS in the 2020-21 season and winning the Feb. 12 encounter at Terre Haute, 60-57.

HEAD COACH JOSH SCHERTZ

Indiana State basketball is under new management as freshman head coach Josh Schertz takes the helm of the program. Schertz takes over after a 13-year run at NCAA Division II Lincoln Memorial University where he had a career record of 337-69 (.831) en route to four National Coach honors at the NCAA. year. Schertz led the Railsplitters to 10 NCAA Division II Tournament appearances, won 14 total conference championships and three Southeast regional titles, and had five 30-or-more win seasons.

LAST TIME OUT

Indiana State and Northern Iowa both shot the ball over 57%, but it was UNI who came away with an 88-82 win on Wednesday. UNI forced 15 Sycamore turnovers which they converted into 18 points which proved to be the deciding factor. Cameron Henry recorded his 21st double-digit effort with 23 points to lead all scorers.

WHAT ARE WE PLAYING?

Indiana State and Illinois State are locked in for a meeting Thursday in St. Louis with Saturday’s game in Normal to decide what color jersey the teams will wear at Arch Madness. A win for the Sycamores will put Indiana State at the No. 8 seed while a loss will lock the Sycamores at the No. 9 seed.

DUAL PROBLEM

Indiana State’s Cooper Neese and Cameron Henry both rank in the top 6 in the Missouri Valley scoring with Neese ranked 4th with 15.9 ppg while Henry scores at a clip of 14.9 points per game which ranks sixth. Missouri State’s Iaiaih Mosley (1st-20.0) and Gaige Prim (5th-15.9) are the only other duo to make the top 6, while Lance Jones (7th-14.9) and Marcus Domask (8th -14.8) of the SIU are also in the respectively in the top 10 scores.

WELCOME TO THE CLUB

Cooper Neese joined the 1,000-point basketball club from Indiana State after scoring 19 goals against Southern Illinois in his last outing. Neese is the 41st ISU basketball player to do so.

HENRY IS A MATCHUP NIGHTMARE

Cameron Henry has scored in double figures in 21 of the 26 games he has appeared in, including 13 MVC contests. He is averaging 14.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.0 steals per game. His scoring production is sixth, while his rebounding ranks ninth, and his assist mark ranks 10th in the MVC.

STEPHENS CLICKS AT THE RIGHT TIME

In his last four outings, forward Kailex Stephens is averaging a team-high 16.3 points while playing 36.7 minutes per game. Stephens scored at least 14 points in every game while going for a career-high 21 against Southern Illinois. Stephens has also shown his ability to shoot the ball deep at a much higher clip, going 4-for-7 from behind the arc at Drake, hitting a 3-pointer in all but one of his last four games. His 5.5 rebounds per game rank second on the team during the streak.

BAND GOOD

The ISU improved its season average from the free throw line to 78.2 percent, which is good enough for third place in MVC and 12th nationally. Xavier Bledson leads ISU with an 88.6 percent (62-for-70) free throw percentage while Cooper Neese is shooting 82.3 percent (65-for-79) from the line. Six other Sycamores draw 70% or more from the charity strip.

FOLLOW THE SYCAMORES

For the latest information on Sycamore Basketball, be sure to visit GoSycamores.com. You can also find the team on social networks, in particular Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube. Fans can also receive updates on Sycamore Athletics by downloading the March On app from the App Store and Google Play Store.

– #MarchOn –

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