Valpo, Indiana St. meet in MVC tourney
No. 9 seed Valparaiso (14-17, 7-11) vs. No. 8 seed Indiana State (15-15, 7-11)
Missouri Valley Conference Tourney First Round, Enterprise Center, St. Louis; Thursday, 7 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Valparaiso is set to match up against Indiana State in the opening round of the MVC tournament. In the regular season, Indiana State won both of the head-to-head matchups. The teams last met on Feb. 13, when the Sycamores forced 21 Valparaiso turnovers while turning the ball over just 12 times en route to the 87-82 victory.
TEAM LEADERSHIP: The Crusaders are led by Derrik Smits and Javon Freeman-Liberty. Smits has averaged 12.5 points and 5.7 rebounds while Freeman-Liberty has put up 10.9 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. The Sycamores have been led by Tyreke Key and Jordan Barnes, who have combined to score 32 points per contest.
TERRIFIC TYREKE: Key has connected on 44.3 percent of the 88 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 8 of 21 over the last five games. He’s also converted 78.4 percent of his foul shots this season.
WINLESS WHEN: Indiana State is 0-6 this year when it scores 62 points or fewer and 15-9 when it scores at least 63.
FLOOR SPACING: Valparaiso’s Freeman-Liberty has attempted 90 3-pointers and connected on 27.8 percent of them, and is 2 for 13 over his last five games.
DID YOU KNOW: Indiana State has attempted the second-most free throws among all MVC teams. The Sycamores have averaged 20.4 free throws per game this season.