Sycamores Head to Missouri State for First MVC Roadtrip This Weekend
Credit Source: Indiana State University Athletics
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. –– Indiana State University men’s basketball travels to Springfield, Mo. to take on Missouri State University in its first road trip of Missouri Valley Conference play Saturday, Jan. 2 in a 7 p.m. contest AT JQH Arena. The game is the first of a two-game series against the Bears, with the second played Thursday, Jan. 3 at 5 p.m. Both games are part of the Valley on ESPN, as Saturday’s game will be broadcast on ESPN+.
Looking to Bounce Back
The Sycamores will try to rebound after stumbling out of the Valley gate in Terre Haute against undefeated Drake to kick off conference play last weekend. A tall task stands before them, however, as they’ve won just six games at Missouri State in the 68 year history of the series, and come out on the short end of the matchup nine of the last 10 games. They are, however, returning to JQH Arena looking to start a win streak, having defeated the Bears in their home arena last season in 78-68.
Indiana State will look to avoid an 0-3 start in Valley play, something that has happened just once in the Greg Lansing era of ISU basketball (2016-17).
Key Continues His Climb
Senior Tyreke Key is inching closer to another spot higher on the Indiana State all-time scoring list, now needing just four points to pass ISU Hall of Famer and the Valley on ESPN color analyst Matt Renn (1977-81) for 13th all-time. The Celina, Tenn. native has 1,344 career points and can move into the Sycamore’s top 10 all-time if he can reach 1,432 points.
Connect Four Cooper
Junior Cooper Neese was money from behind the arc in the Sycamores’ two games against Drake, as the guard sunk four three-pointers in both games against the Bulldogs for point totals of 13 and 18.
Neese scored in double-figures in just four MVC games during his sophomore campaign, and is already halfway to that number after the only two games played.
Where They Rank
Senior Tyreke Key is still on top of the Valley in free throw shooting (92.9%), while junior Cooper Neese has snuck into the top five of the league in free throw percentage, coming in at fourth (87.5%).
Sophomore Jake LaRavia has his name near the top of both the Valley scoring and rebounding lists, coming in at No. 6 in scoring (14.9 per game) and tied for No. 6 in rebounding (6.3 per game). Fellow sophomore Tre Williams comes in at No. 8 on the rebounding list (5.9 per game), and freshman Julian Larry currently ranks second in steals per game (1.9).
Sophomore Jake LaRavia has scored double-digits in all but one game this season, averaging 14.9 overall and 14.5 in MVC play. The Indianapolis, Ind. native has had two games of 20-or-more points in the last four ISU contests, including a career-high 27 points against in-state foe Ball State, and has matched his total career 20+ point games in that span. LaRavia also leads the team in rebounding (6.3 per game) and total blocks (8).