Austin Peay (1-3) vs. Indiana State (2-1)
Monday, November 24th, 2014 | 4:30pm CST
Terre Haute, IN | Hulman Center
Terre Haute, IN – Indiana State already has cemented its place in NCAA basketball history.
It was the first coaching stop for John Wooden (1946-48), the most successful basketball coach in NCAA history. It was where “The Legend” of Larry Bird was created during the Sycamores’ magical 1979 NCAA run, ended in the national championship game by Magic Johnson and Michigan State.
Now Indiana State is attempting to reclaim some of its basketball history. Lost in the unbeaten Wichita State Missouri Valley Conference march last spring was the Sycamores’ impressive second-place league finish and overall 23-11 record, including a bid to the NIT.
Many of those same Sycamore faces will greet the Governors, 4:30pm, Monday, when the two teams meet in a second preliminary game of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational at the fabled Hulman Center. Indiana State comes in 2-1 after a 78-66 victory, Saturday night, against Brown in its first Las Vegas tourney game.
The Sycamores are led by 6-6 guard/forward Khristian Smith, the MVC’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2013-14 who is averaging 19 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in the early going. Also enjoying his role as a first-time starter is fellow junior Devonte Brown, a guard who is at 18.7 points per game. The duo combined for 44 points against Brown.
A pair of big body seniors, 6-10 Jake Kitchell and 6-9 Justin Grant, will provide the Govs inside duo of Chris Horton and Chris Freeman different challenges than the length and athleticism Illinois’ front court created. Horton and Freeman, who were averaging more than 33 points per game between them prior to the Illinois game, were limited to 19 points in Champaign. In fact, Horton suffered through a 1-of-7 shooting night scoring a season-low six points.
After Illinois torched the Governors with 14 three pointers, Friday night, the good news for 1-3 APSU is the fact Indiana State is shooting just 26.4 percent (14 of 53) from the three-point arc. The bad news for the Govs is the Sycamores shot their season-best (6-of-16, 38 percent) from three against Brown.
APSU continues to seek consistency from its own perimeter. APSU has combined for just 11 three pointers in the last three games, shooting less than 30 percent in each contest. The Govs did receive a double-digit scoring performance (12 points) from junior transfer Khalil Davis, who connected on 5-of-7 shots against Illinois. In addition, after the Govs bench scored three points against Samford, it bounced back with 21 versus Illinois, including 11 from freshman guard Josh Robinson.
Monday’s game is the third in nearly a 1 ½ week road odyssey that will take the Govs to Las Vegas, Thursday and Friday, to complete Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational.
Last Game: Austin Peay 66, Illinois 107
The Governors made it three straight games shooting 77 percent or better from the free-throw line, connecting on 13 of 15 (86.7 percent) against Illinois.
Junior guard Khalil Davis scored double figures for the first time with 12 points against Illinois on 5-of-7 shooting.
Chris Freeman recorded a career-best five assists against Illinois.
Freshman guard Josh Robinson came off the bench to score 11 points–his second double-figure scoring game in four outings–against Illinois on 5-of-9 shooting.
Junior forward Assane Diop, coming off the bench, recorded a season-best five points and three rebounds against Illinois.
The Illini shot 24 of 32 (75 percent) from the floor in the second half.
The Govs starting front court of Chris Horton and Chris Freeman, who were averaging 33 points between them coming in, had just four points at halftime. The finished with 19 points, 13 by Freeman.
What You Should Know
The Series: The Govs are 3-2 all-time against Indiana State, with the Sycamores winning the last meeting, 76-70, in 2000. The series first two meeting happened in the 1957-58 seasons before the two teams met again 32 years later in 1990.
What A Win Would Mean
It would make the Govs 2-3 in 2014…the Govs would go to 2-3 in November…the Govs would improve to 1-3 on the road…they would improve the overall series record to 4-2 against Indiana State…it would give Dave Loos a 2-1 record against Indiana State…it would give Loos a 1-0 record against Indiana State coach Greg Lansing…it would be Dave Loos’ 467th career victory.
What A Loss Would Mean
The Govs drop to 1-4 in 2014…the would fall to 0-2 in the preliminary games of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational…they would go to 1-4 in November…it would keep the Govs winless on the road…it would be the Govs second straight loss in the series…Loos would drop to 466-408 overall and 384-355 as the Governors head coach.
Radio • Governors Sports Network
Play-by-Play: David Loos
Analyst: Brad Kirtley