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Men's Basketball Aims For Season Sweep of Indiana State

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
Release: February 26, 2013
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The Drake University men’s basketball team hits the road for the final time in Missouri Valley Conference play this season for a Wednesday evening game at Indiana State. Tipoff against the Sycamores is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. at the Hulman Center. The game will be broadcast on the radio in Des Moines on 1350-AM KRNT. 

Indiana State enters the contest with a 17-11 overall record and a 9-7 mark in Missouri Valley Conference games. The Sycamores snapped a three game losing streak on Saturday, edging Iona 65-64 in its BracketBusters matchup. Guard Jake Odum leads Indiana State with 14.3 points per game on 48.3 percent shooting while forward Manny Arop adds 12.6 points per game and leads the team with 5.3 rebounds per game.

In the first meeting between the two teams this season, Drake edged ISU, 74-71, in overtime at the Knapp Center.

“We were fortunate to win a close game here in Des Moines,” Drake head coach Mark Phelps said. “Obviously, Jake Odum is the straw that stirs their drink. I can’t say enough good things about him and they are really good on their home court.”

The Sycamores are 7-1 in conference at home with their only MVC home loss coming to league leading Wichita State.

 “In our favor, we’ve built a little momentum with pretty good basketball last week,” Phelps said. “We’re going to have to be at our best on both ends of the court to come out with a win.”

The Bulldogs travel to Terre Haute with a 13-15 overall record and 6-10 in the MVC after two consecutive home wins snapped a four game losing streak.

Senior Ben Simons (Cadillac, Mich.) has found his scoring touch as of late and moved into eight in career scoring with 16 points in the win against Green Bay to give him 1,330 career points. He is averaging a team leading 14.6 points per game, shooting a blistering 45.0 percent from the floor and 41.4 percent from beyond the arc.

Senior Chris Hines (Houston, Texas) averages 9.6 points per game, on 40.2 percent shooting. Redshirt junior Seth VanDeest (Bettendorf, Iowa) tied a career high 10 rebounds and scored 15 points against Green Bay, recording his first double-double since a December, 2010 matchup with Boise State.

In Drake’s earlier win over the Sycamores this season, Simons tallied 21 points in the game to lead the Bulldogs. Drake shot 49.1 percent in the game and held the rebounding edge. Dawon Cummings was the leading scorer for Indiana State, with 16 points that evening.

Following the midweek game, the Bulldogs will return home for its season finale, hosting Southern Illinois for a 7:05 p.m. tip on Saturday. Saturday will be a very busy day for the Bulldogs with it being the program’s ‘Senior Day’ and ‘Alumni Game.’

Former Drake greats will hit the Knapp Center hardwood at 5 p.m. for the annual Alumni Game. The participants and other Bulldogs who return to town will be recognized at halftime as will Drake legend Dolph Pulliam in his final home game before his retirement. The first 1,000 fans through the Knapp Center doors will receive a commemorative Dolph Pulliam shirt.

The game against SIU will be broadcast regionally on Mediacom MC22. 

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