The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (6-4) will attempt to continue a five-game home winning streak when they clash against the Indiana State Sycamores (5-5) at E.A. Diddle Arena. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 16, 2017.
Indiana State Sycamores vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers ATS Preview
The last time the Sycamores played, they won big over the Green Bay Phoenix, 85-63. Jordan Barnes was the games leading scorer with 22 points on 7-for-11 shooting. The Sycamores had a superb effective field goal percentage of 0.594 (above their season average of 0.498) and had a free throw rate of 0.415 (above their season average of 0.296).
The Hilltoppers are hoping for a better outcome after their 81-80 loss to the Wisconsin Badgers in their last matchup. With 18 points and six rebounds, Darius Thompson had a solid performance for Western Kentucky. Wisconsin had a free throw rate of 0.255 (above their season average of 0.203). Western Kentucky, meanwhile, forced the Badgers into a turnover percentage of 19.7 (above their season average of 14.6).
It could be a sloppy game for the Indiana State offense. Indiana State ranks 284th in the nation in ball protection (turnover percentage of 21.1 percent), while the pesky defense of Western Kentucky forces the 30th-most turnovers in the NCAA (23.3 percent).
Barnes has really been playing well over the last five games for Indiana State, averaging 19.2 points and 4.0 assists per game.
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams. The Hilltoppers won the lone game played against each other last season, 77-59. Western Kentucky had a much better free throw rate (0.404 vs. 0.224). Indiana State, meanwhile, had a better turnover percentage (16.1 vs. 19.0).
Indiana State Sycamores vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Free Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Western Kentucky, ATS Winner – Western Kentucky, O/U – Under
- Indiana State ranks 96th in three pointers attempted per game (23.2) while Western Kentucky ranks 269th (15.6).
- The Sycamores average 7.7 steals per game, which ranks 40th in the nation. The Hilltoppers rank 146th in steals allowed per game (6.8).
- Indiana State ranks 76th in blocks per game (3.9) while Western Kentucky ranks 147th in blocks allowed per game (3.9).
- The Hilltoppers average margin of victory in their last five games has been 9.2, up from 8.1 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Sycamores have scored an average of 79.8 points per game (3.2 above their season average) and allowed an average of 74.8 points per game (0.6 above their season average).