AP NEWS

Illinois St. faces Evansville in tourney

March 6, 2019

No. 10 seed Evansville (11-20, 5-13) vs. No. 7 seed Illinois State (16-15, 9-9)

Missouri Valley Conference Tourney First Round, Enterprise Center, St. Louis; Thursday, 9:30 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: Evansville and Illinois State are set to do battle in the opening round of the MVC tournament. In the regular season, Illinois State won both of the head-to-head matchups. The teams last went at it on Jan. 19, when the Redbirds shot 51.9 percent from the field while holding Evansville to just 38.2 percent en route to an eight-point victory.

SUPER SENIORS: Illinois State has relied heavily on its seniors this year. Milik Yarbrough, Phil Fayne, Zach Copeland, Keyshawn Evans and William Tinsley have collectively accounted for 79 percent of the team’s scoring this year and 83 percent of all Redbirds points over the last five games.

ROCK-SOLID RILEY: K.J. Riley has connected on 16 percent of the 50 3-pointers he’s attempted. He’s also converted 72.3 percent of his foul shots this season.

ASSIST RATIOS: The Purple Aces have recently created baskets via assists more often than the Redbirds. Illinois State has 25 assists on 70 field goals (35.7 percent) across its previous three matchups while Evansville has assists on 33 of 73 field goals (45.2 percent) during its past three games.

DID YOU KNOW: Evansville is rated second among MVC teams with an average of 70.1 points per game.

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