WBB Preview | Sycamores Head to Western Kentucky to Kick Thanksgiving Road Trip

HIGH EARTH, Ind. – State of Indiana hits the road for a pageant trio during the Thanksgiving break as Sycamores travel to western Kentucky and southern Georgia this coming weekend. The four-day trip will include a contest on Wednesdays in Western Kentucky, while the State of Indiana Friday through Saturday will participate in the GATA Turkey Throwdown hosted by Georgia Southern.

The Sycamores face Western Kentucky on Wednesday afternoon with a noon ET kick-off in Bowling Springs, Ky. At EA Diddle Arena. The game will be broadcast live on CUSA.TV as well as 105.5 The Legend.

In the first three games of the 2021-22 season, Indiana State left its mark on the defensive side of the ball. The Sycamores enter the week in seventh overall in the NCAA standings in forced turnovers (26.33) and 10th in interceptions per game (14.0), leading the Missouri Valley in both categories. Indiana State also has a rebound margin of +2.0, which also leads the conference.

Four distinct Sycamores are listed among the national leaders in interceptions per game with Anna mckendree (3.00) ranking 44th in the NCAA and leading the MVC in the category at the start of the 2021-22 season. Caitlin anderson (2.67) and Marie Hunter (2.67) are also in the NCAA top 100, while Nathalie Lalic (2.00) is ninth in the conference for interceptions.

The Sycamores enter the week after suffering back-to-back losses to Saint Louis and Eastern Illinois after a season opener win over Stephens (Mo.). Adrian people has been the offensive glow for Indiana State in the first three games and is among the league leaders in points (18.3) and rebounds (6.7) per game, while shooting 91.7% (11 of 12) from the free throw line. Del’Janae Williams (10.3) is also recording double-digit average scores and has been the team’s main three-point threat with six triples this year.

McKendree, Hunter and Lalic have all been the playmakers with the ball in hand this year, with the trio entering the weekend tied for the team lead with 2.3 assists per game. McKendree’s 10 interceptions lead the team, while five different players have recorded one blocked shot over the year.

About Western Kentucky
Western Kentucky enters Wednesday’s contest with a 2-3 overall season record after Sunday’s 96-59 victory over Kentucky State. The Hilltoppers also earned an 86-76 victory over North Carolina A&T in the first round of the WNIT preseason to mark their two wins of the year.

Meral Abdelgawad leads the WKU offense with 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game at the start of the 2021-22 season. The senior keeper also leads the team with 16 total interceptions and is second on the team with 12 assists in the first five games. Mya Meredith is also in double digits for WKU with 10.6 points per game, while Macey Blevins is the team’s main three-point threat with 12 conversions over the year.

Defensively, Teresa Faustino is second on the team with 14 total interceptions, while Selma Kulo managed five of the Hilltoppers’ 13 blocked shots.

Series review – Western Kentucky

The Indiana State – Western Kentucky series dates back to 1977, and Wednesday’s contest marks the first time the two teams have faced each other in court since 1990. Three of the four contests were held in Bowling Green, Ky., Including the inaugural contest. and Sycamore’s only win in the series was Jan. 8, 1977, when ISU dominated WKU, 80-69. Since then, Western Kentucky has won three straight wins, including the last game on Dec. 4, 1990, 86-71.

Calendar of opponents for the first time / non-conference
Indiana State’s 2021-22 non-conference schedule will feature an equal mix of familiar faces and newcomers to the field this season as the Sycamores take on five opponents for the first time, while taking on six familiar enemies this year. Indiana State has an overall winning record (56-36) against their non-conference list this year with their longest-running rivalry against Eastern Illinois (38-24). The ISU also has an all-time winning record against five of the six familiar teams on the non-conference calendar, including a victory in their only game against Nebraska in 1994.

Some of the five newcomers on the 2021-22 schedule include the home games against the home opener against Stephens (Mo.) and the December 14 game against Illinois Chicago. The Sycamores will travel to IPFW on December 20 in their final game before the holidays, while ISU will face Jacksonville State and Georgia Southern in the GATA Turkey Showdown during Thanksgiving Break in Statesboro, Ga.

Other home games for the Sycamores this season include a home game Nov. 17 against Eastern Illinois, Dec. 4 against Western Michigan and Dec. 14 against Illinois Chicago. The Sycamores travel to Saint Louis (November 14), Western Kentucky (November 24), Chicago State (December 1) and Nebraska (December 11) to wrap up the non-conference portion of the program.

Pre-season survey
Indiana state was selected ninth overall in the Missouri Valley Conference preseason women’s basketball poll, as announced by the conference board on Tuesday morning. Sycamores received 102 points in total in the poll as voted on by conference coaches, sports information directors and the media.

The Sycamores return four starters from last season’s squad which finished 5-15 overall with a 2-12 score in MVC play. Sommer Pitzer, Caitlin anderson, Marie Hunter, and Adrian people come back to represent 83.6% of the top five goalscorers of the year, while nine returners in total highlight the upcoming roster for the 2021-22 season.

Missouri State was ranked preseason favorite in the MVC, with the Bears receiving 362 points and 35 votes for first place. Drake (top two spots, 316 points) and Northern Iowa (top three spots, 298 points) round out the top three in the poll.

Follow the Sycamores
For the latest information on Sycamore Women’s Basketball, visit GoSycamore.com. You can also find the team on social networks, in particular Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube. Fans can also receive updates on Sycamore Athletics by downloading the March On app from the App Store and the Google play store.

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