(11) Wichita State Shockers (-9.5) at Indiana State Sycamores
Unlike in recent years, the Wichita State Shockers (25-3, 15-1 MVC) find themselves in a dogfight for the Missouri Valley Conference this season with the Northern Iowa Panthers. The teams are currently tied at the top of the standings and, if the Shockers can get past the Indiana State Sycamores (14-14, 10-6 MVC) tonight at the Hulman Center (7:05 p.m. Eastern), it will set up a winner-take-all battle with the Panthers on Saturday.
Since losing at Northern Iowa in late January, the Shockers have won six in a row, including a 62-43 win over the Evansville Purple Aces in their last outing.
Wichita State’s sharpshooting guard Ron Baker has hit an MVC-best 70 three-pointers on the year, including at least one in 27 straight games.
“He sets the record with a handful or more games left in our season as a junior. He’s going to put that number so high,” Shockers coach Gregg Marshall said. “I hope I can be the beneficiary. I hope one day I can have a point guard that breaks the number he puts up because it’s going to be incredible.”
Indiana State is currently third in the MVC and comes into tonight on the heels of a 78-58 win over Southern Illinois. But even Sycamores coach Greg Lansing recognizes the discrepancy between the top two teams in the MVC and the rest of the pack.
“Just a big difference between those two teams [i.e. Wichita State and Northern Iowa],” sand Lansing. “You’re talking about a top-15 ranked team and a team that’s trying to contend for a championship in the Missouri Valley with Northern Iowa, and we’re not there yet.”
The Shockers are 9.5-point favorites for tonight’s game. Wichita State is 5-0 SU and ATS in its last five road games against Indiana State.
(Photo credit: TonyTheTiger (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)