Valpo, Drake start MVC play

Valparaiso (3-4, 0-0) vs. Drake (3-3, 0-0)

Knapp Center, Des Moines, Iowa; Thursday, 9 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: Drake hosts Valparaiso as MVC play starts for both teams. In conference play last season, Valparaiso finished with seven wins and 11 losses, while Drake won 15 games and lost three.

BIG MEN ON CAMPUS: Tremell Murphy has averaged 13.7 points and 6.3 rebounds to lead the way for the Bulldogs. Complementing Murphy is Roman Penn, who is maintaining an average of 10.7 points per game. The Beacons are led by Thomas Kithier, who is averaging 11.9 points and 6.7 rebounds.MIGHTY MURPHY: Murphy has connected on 50 percent of the 24 3-pointers he’s attempted and has gone 10 for 21 over his last five games. He’s also converted 77.8 percent of his free throws this season.

LONG-RANGE THREAT: Drake’s Tucker DeVries has attempted 38 3-pointers and connected on 31.6 percent of them, and is 7 for 18 over the last three games.

STREAK SCORING: Drake has won its last three home games, scoring an average of 86.3 points while giving up 60.3.

DID YOU KNOW: Valparaiso is rated second among MVC teams with an average of 70.7 possessions per game.


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