CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Southern Illinois men’s basketball program will attempt a breakaway in the Missouri Valley Conference rankings with a meeting with Indiana State Wednesday night. The Sycamores currently sit 6-0 at the top of MVC while SIU is 4-2 along with five other Valley programs. Tipoff is scheduled for 6pm CT/7pm ET from the Hulman Center.
• The game will be available nationally on ESPN Plus, with John Rooney directing and Tim Jankovich serving as analyst.
• The radio show can be heard on the Saluki Radio Network with SIU Hall of Famer Mike Reis (play-by-play) and Rodney Watson (analyst).
• It’s a duel of opposing playstyles in Terre Haute on Wednesday as the Salukis and Sycamores go head-to-head in an MVC showdown. Indiana State leads the MVC at 80.8 points per game with a trio of double-digit scorers, while the Salukis rank second in the MVC and 20th statewide in goal defense. The matchup includes four preseason All-MVC selections in SIUs Markus Domask and Lance Jones and Indiana State’s Cameron Henry and Cooper Neese.
• The Sycamores beat SIU 74-71 at home in early December to draw 2-0 in the league.
• SIU centers Scottie Ebube and JD Muila and INS guard Cooper Neese will be active for this meeting after each missing the first game through injury.
• Southern Illinois has kept conference opponents to just 57.8 points per game and four of its six Valley opponents to under 57 points. The Salukis held Belmont to 45 points and last-season favorite Drake to 49 points.
• Southern pressured Tucker DeVries and Roman Penn from Drake. The Salukis gave up just 11 points to DeVries in 4-for-13 shooting while Penn held 1-for-15 from the floor and two points.
• SIU is second in MVC and 20th nationally with 60.4 points allowed per game.
• The Salukis keep their opponents behind the archway just 30.2 percent – they rank third in MVC and 55th nationally.
• SIU is second in MVC with 7.9 steals per game. Lance Jones leads the team with 1.9 steals per game and has racked up multiple steals in 11 games this season, including a career-high six at UE.
• Markus Domask and Lance Jones combined to make the last 20 points against Murray State. Against Drake, Domask scored the last 15 points of the game.
• Markus Domask (20.-1.355) and Lance Jones (25th-1,293) each ranked within the top-25 in program history in points scored. The duo is also in the top 20 for career assists.
• Markus Domask has hit double digits in 15 of 17 games this season to lead SIU. He has scored 20 or more points in five games and ranks fifth in the MVC with 17.1 points per game.
• Lance Jones leads the Salukis with 34 3-pointers this season. The senior has made 169 three-pointers in his career, ranking eighth in program history.
• Xavier Johnson ranks third on the team during the Valley game with 8.8 points per contest. The guard shoots 42.1 percent from behind the arc and has 15 assists in league play.
• Clarence Rupert shoots 66.7 percent (50-75) – the best of all Saluki with more than 10 attempts. The forward has shot 100 percent from the field in three games this season, including two 6-a-side games.
• Page forward Clarence Rupert entered the starting XI eight games ago, SIU is 7-1.
• SIU’s four turnovers against Murray State are the fewest for the Salukis in a game since the 2017-18 season, when Southern turned the ball four times against Duquesne. It was the 19th best (lowest turnover) in a game that year.
• The Salukis ranked #24 in the latest CollegeInsider.com mid-major men’s basketball poll.
• Wednesday night’s game in Terre Haute marks the 143rd meeting between the Salukis and Sycamores. Southern Illinois leads the all-time series 90-52. In the last 10 matches, both programs have won five matches. The Salukis are 32-36 on the road against the trees, 3-5 on a neutral pitch and 53-12 at home.
• The Sycamores ended a two-game streak by Southern in the series with an early-season MVC meeting in Carbondale, where Indiana State walked away with a 74-71 victory. The Salukis bounced back from a 14-point deficit to surpass INS 43-35 in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to clinch the win. Three Salukis scored in double digits, led by Markus Domask with 16 points. Xavier Johnson scored 13th promote miracles Added 11 for the Dawgs.
• Indiana State goes into the game 13-4 aggregate and a perfect 6-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Sycamores are on a four-game winning streak with victories over Evansville, Valparaiso, Illinois State and UIC Indiana State leads the league at 80.8 points per game with a trio of double-digit scorers. Courvoisier McCauley leads the charge for INS with 16.9 points per game and 5.6 rebounds for the guard spot. Cooper Neese (10.8) and Cameron Henry (10.6) round out the top scorers for the Trees. Point guard Julian Larry has been turning it on lately, scoring 14 points in his last five games while shooting 76.5 percent from the field.
The Salukis return home for two games starting with Illinois State on Saturday. Tickets to Saturday’s game with the Redbirds start at just $7 at Section 113. Use promo code SEVEN to purchase tickets HERE.
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