Illinois State (5-11, 2-8) vs. Drake (16-0, 7-0)
Knapp Center, Des Moines, Iowa; Monday, 7 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Drake looks for its eighth straight conference win against Illinois State. Drake’s last MVC loss came against the Bradley Braves 76-66 on March 7, 2020. Illinois State fell short in a 78-76 overtime game at Drake in its last outing.
BIG MEN ON CAMPUS: Drake’s Shanquan Hemphill has averaged 14.1 points and 5.6 rebounds while Roman Penn has put up 12.8 points and 5.4 assists. For the Redbirds, DJ Horne has averaged 14.5 points while Antonio Reeves has put up 12.9 points.
DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENTS: The Redbirds have allowed just 72.1 points per game to conference opponents so far, an improvement from the 77.2 per game they gave up over five non-conference games.DOMINANT DJ: Horne has connected on 45.1 percent of the 91 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 15 of 31 over the last five games. He’s also converted 82.6 percent of his free throws this season.
WINLESS WHEN: Illinois State is 0-10 when scoring fewer than 68 points and 5-1 when scoring at least 68.
THREAT FROM DEEP: Illinois State’s Fleming Jr. has attempted 12 3-pointers and connected on 41.7 percent of them, and is 4 for 6 over his past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: The Drake offense has scored 82.2 points per game this season, ranking the Bulldogs 20th nationally. The Illinois State defense has allowed 75.9 points per game to opponents (ranked 260th).
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