No. 4 Wichita State Visits Redbird Arena Wednesday Night
Reggie Lynch
Reggie Lynch

Jan. 21, 2014

 Illinois State vs. No. 4 Wichita State | Normal, Ill.
 Date  Wednesday, January 22
 Location
 Normal, Ill.
 Tipoff
 7:05 p.m.
 Arena
 Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena
 Capacity
 10,000
 Radio  WJBC 1230 AM, FM 93.7 (Dick Luedke and Mike Matthews)
 Live Video  ESPN3 | RedbirdHD.tv
 Live Stats  GameTracker | StatBroadcast
 Game Notes  Illinois State Notes
 Buy Tickets  Illinois State Online Ticket Office


QUICK HITS ABOUT #REDBIRDHOOPS

  • Illinois State has won 10 out of its last 13 games, marking the first time that ISU has gone 10-3 over a 13-game stretch since earning 11-of-14 wins from Nov. 17, 2011-Jan. 7, 2012.
  • The Redbirds have won seven-consecutive games on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena, the longest streak since earning 12-straight wins at Redbird Arena - stretching across two seasons - from 2009-2011.
  • ISU is 4-2 in the Missouri Valley Conference, which is the Redbirds' best start to league-play since 2009-10.
  • No. 4 Wichita State is the highest-ranked team to ever play in Redbird Arena. No. 15 Drake previously held the top-ranking in 2008. The last top-five team that ISU hosted was No. 2 Purdue - at Horton Field House - Nov. 30, 1987.
  • No. 4 Wichita State creates the Redbirds' fourth Top-25 matchup of the season, with ISU beating No. 25 Dayton at home (Dec. 7) while losing at No. 14 VCU (Nov. 8) and at No. 6 WSU (Jan. 8). ISU is trying to secure two wins over a Top-25 team in the same season for the second time in program history and the first time since the 1983-84 season.
  • The Redbirds' win over No. 25 Dayton earlier this year was ISU's 10th-overall against a ranked opponent and the third in as many seasons, after ISU beat No. 16 Creighton last season and No. 15 Wichita State in 2011-12.
  • Illinois State is trying to earn four Top-25 victories in a three-season span for the first time in program history.
  • The Redbirds are 10-52 all-time versus Top-25 opponents and 1-2 against ranked foes this season.
  • In Missouri Valley Conference games only, the Redbirds rank No. 1 in steals and No. 2 in assists and blocks.
  • The Redbirds' field goal percentage defense ranks No. 2 among Valley teams in MVC games only (38.6 percent).
  • ISU ranks second in the MVC in overall games and ranks 47th in the nation in three-point field goals per game (7.9).
  • Redbird freshman center Reggie Lynch continues to lead the Missouri Valley Conference and rank 40th nationally in blocks per game (2.5). He also leads the league with a 60.4 percent field goal percentage.
  • Redbird junior guard Daishon Knight is a three-time MVC Newcomer of the Week (Dec. 2, Dec. 9, Dec. 23).
  • ISU sophomore guard Nick Zeisloft is a three-time MVC Male Student-Athlete of the Week (Dec. 4,Dec. 27,Jan. 15).

    PROGRAM EXCELLENCE
  • Illinois State is in its 44th season as a NCAA Division I program, and during that time, the Redbirds have only had eight losing seasons.
  • Throughout Illinois State's program history, the Redbirds have featured 20 All-American selections, two Missouri Valley Conference Larry Bird Valley Players of the Year, Four Valley Tournament Most Outstanding Players, 66 All-Valley Selections, six NCAA Tournament appearances, 12 NIT appearances, five Valley regular-season championships and four Valley Tournament championships.

    ABOUT THE WICHITA STATE SHOCKERS
  • Wichita State University is located in Wichita, Kan., and has an enrollment of 14,550. The Shockers compete at the NCAA Division I level and are members of the Missouri Valley Conference.
  • The Shockers return three starters from a team which finished 30-9 last season and placed 2nd in the Missouri Valley Conference (12-6). Last season, WSU advanced to the Final Four and finished No. 4 in the final USA Today Coaches Poll, marking the Shockers' highest-ever ranking.
  • Illinois State and Wichita State are tied in the all-time series, 37-37, with WSU winning the last four meetings and 10 out of the last 11. ISU is 17-8 against WSU at Redbird Arena, despite WSU winning three-straight in Normal, Ill. ISU's last home victory over Wichita State occurred Dec. 29, 2009.
  • The Shockers are picked to win the Missouri Valley Conference according to the official preseason poll, and senior forward Cleanthony Early is the Valley Preseason Player of the Year..

    WHERE TO WATCH: ISU AT WICHITA STATE
    ESPN3 - http://es.pn/MBK-WICHITAvsILST

    LAST MEETING: REDBIRDS FALL TO No. 6 WICHITA STATE, 66-47
    WICHITA, Kan. (Jan. 8, 2014) - Bobby Hunter led Illinois State with 11 points and Zach Lofton grabbed a career-high seven rebounds, but No. 6 Wichita State never trailed en route to a 66-47 win over the Redbirds in front of a sellout crowd of 10,506 at Charles Koch Arena. Hunter was the lone Redbird to reach double-figures, while Nick Zeisloft contributed nine points on 3-for-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Cleanthony Early and Ron Baker both led Wichita State offensively with 11 points.

    LIVING HISTORY
    History will be made Wednesday night when Illinois State hosts No. 4 Wichita State, as the Shockers represent the highest-ranked team to ever play in 25-year-old Redbird Arena. Previously, the highest-ranked team to visit Redbird Arena was No. 15 Drake in 2008. Earlier this season, ISU earned its first-ever win over a Top-25 team in the arena by beating No. 25 Dayton, 81-75, on Jan. 7, 2013.

    VERSUS THE TOP-5
    No. 4 Wichita State is the highest-ranked opponent that the Redbirds have faced since playing at No. 2 Kansas in 2000. The Redbirds played at No. 5 Louisville last season. The last time that ISU hosted a top-five team was Nov. 30, 1987, when the Redbirds welcomed No. 2 Purdue to Horton Field House where the Boilermakers narrowly won, 68-61. The last top-5 team that the Redbirds defeated was No. 4 Indiana State, 81-76, on Jan. 21, 1978. ISU is 2-14 against opponents ranked No. 5 or higher.

    STREAKING `BIRDS
    With ISU's win at Drake Saturday night, the Redbirds improved to 4-2 in the Missouri Valley Conference, which is the Redbirds' best start to league-play since Osiris Eldridge and company also began 4-2 in 2009-10. Not only has Illinois State won 10-out-of-its-last-13 games, but the Redbirds have also earned seven-consecutive wins at home, marking ISU's longest home-court win streak since 2011-12.

    LYNCH CLOSES IN ON RECORD
    After matching a career-high with four blocks in Illinois State's win at Drake Saturday night, freshman center Reggie Lynch increased his season total to 45 blocks, which is just seven away from ISU's freshman blocks record of 52, set by Jon Ekey in 2010-11. Lynch currently ranks No. 12 on the single-season blocks list and No. 22 on the career-blocks list.

    BEATING THE BULLDOGS
    Illinois State put together one of its most-complete offensive and defensive efforts of the season in Saturday night's win over Drake. The Redbirds shot 48.1 percent from the field - ISU's third-highest mark of the season - while holding the Bulldogs to 34.8 percent from the field - ISU's fifth-best defensive effort. ISU also out-rebounded Drake, 38-23, while collecting more assists (14-10), blocks (5-0) and steals (10-8).

    KNIGHT'S CLUTCH WEEK
    Junior guard Daishon Knight led Illinois State with 16.5 points per game on 57.1-percent (12-for-21) shooting in the Redbirds' two Missouri Valley Conference victories over Evansville and at Drake last week. Knight's clutch three-pointer against Evansville with eight seconds remaining in regulation forced overtime, and the Redbirds held off the Purple Aces thanks to four more overtime-points from Knight, who finished with 16. Against Drake, Knight led Illinois State with 17 points as the Redbirds won decisively on the road. Along with leading the team in scoring, Knight also averaged 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals.

    BONUS BASKETBALL
    Illinois State and Evansville required overtime to settle an offensive-showdown Jan. 15 on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena. Despite the Purple Aces netting 15 three-pointers - more than any opponent in ISU history - the Redbirds answered with one of their top offensive efforts of the season, as ISU matched a season-high first-half shooting-percentage of 58.1 percent. The Redbirds also outrebounded Evansville (37-35) and recorded more blocks (6-2) and steals (8-3) while committing fewer turnovers (8-11). ISU is now 1-1 in overtime games this season.

    LOFTON REGISTERS CAREER-HIGH
    Redbird sophomore guard Zach Lofton scored a career-high 21 points in a career-best 39 minutes during Illinois State's win over Evansville Jan. 15. Lofton - who started the season by netting double-figures in the first seven games - seems to have bounced back offensively after being held to one double-digit effort in the four games prior to Evansville. Redshirt junior guard Bobby Hunter also enjoyed a productive game against Evansville, scoring a career-best five field goals.

    FOR COMPARISON'S SAKE
    Despite Illinois State featuring what is believed to be the least-experienced team in the nation, this year's Redbird squad (which features eight newcomers to NCAA Division I basketball on the current active roster) is ahead of where last year's much more experienced Redbird team was at this point in last season's conference standings, despite last year's squad consisting of four seniors and just two scholarship-newcomers. Last year's ISU team was 9-9 and 0-6 in the Missouri Valley Conference after its first 18 games, while the 2013-14 Redbirds are currently 11-7 and 4-2 in the Valley.

    MAKING A STATE-MENT
    After earning a win over Loyola Jan. 11, Illinois State improved to a perfect 5-0 against NCAA Division I teams in the state of Illinois this season. ISU's 5-0 in-state mark is the best among Illinois' 13 D-I teams, with Northern Illinois and Western Illinois maintaining the only other undefeated records of 1-0. The Redbirds have four more chances to earn in-state victories during the regular-season.

    ZEISLOFT AGAIN NAMED SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
    Redshirts sophomore Nick Zeisloft was selected as the Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Week for the third time this season (Jan. 15). Zeisloft maintains a 3.71 cumulative grade-point average (GPA) in Finance and is a four-time AFNI Honor Roll Member.

    LEAGUE LEADERS
    Along with freshman guard Reggie Lynch's Valley-best 2.5 blocks per game (which ranks No. 40 nationally), he also leads the league in field goal percentage at 60.4 (58-for-96). Meanwhile, teammate Zach Lofton ranks No. 5 in MVC free throw shooting with an 84.9 percent average (62-for-73). As a team, Illinois State ranks second in Valley three-pointers - and 47th in the nation - (7.9 per game) and second in league blocks (4.4).


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