The Illinois State Redbirds (8-16, 3-9 in the MVC) will head to McLeod Center in Cedar Falls to face the Northern Iowa Panthers (21-3, 10-2 in the MVC).
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The game (8 p.m. ET start time) won’t be on TV anywhere, but anyone in the U.S can watch it live on ESPN+:
ESPN+ is the digital streaming service from ESPN that has exclusive coverage of over 1,500 college basketball games this season (including many MVC games), plus other live sports every day, all the 30-for-30 documentaries, and additional original content (both video and written) all for $4.99 per month.
Or, if you also want the new Disney+ streaming service and Hulu, you can get all three for $12.99 per month, which works out to 25 percent savings.
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can then watch Illinois Sate v. Northern Iowa live on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone (Android and iPhone compatible), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or other streaming device via the ESPN app.
Illinois Sate v. Northern Iowa Preview
The Panthers have won five in a row heading into this game, with their most recent win coming against Drake, 83-73. As he has for much of the season, AJ Green led Northern Iowa in scoring with 34 points, his second-highest total of the season. Green is one of three Panthers players scoring in double figures, leading the team with 20 points a game.
Trae Burhow is netting 14 points a game, while junior forward Austin Phyfe is chipping in 10.7 points and hauling in 7.4 boards a game. They have essentially served as the big three on the team, and together with Isaiah Brown and Spencer Haldeman, they are a primary reason why UNI leads the Missouri Valley Conference in scoring with 77 points a game.
On defense, the Panthers are allowing 64.9 points a game, which is fourth in the MVC. They are winning games by just over 12 points, which is the highest margin of victory in the conference, and they’re shooting 48.5 percent from the floor, second only to Loyola Chicago in the MVC.
As for the Redbirds, they’re coming off a 74-67 win over Indiana State. The win ended a two-game skid, but Illinois State is 2-2 in its last four games, which is encouraging considering the team lost seven straight prior to that.
Illinois State is averaging 66.3 points a game, which is ninth out of the 10 teams in the conference. Senior guard Zach Copeland is the only player for the Redbirds averaging in double figures, scoring 15.3 points a game. Forward Keith Fisher III is also chipping in 8.7 points, and he’s the team’s leading rebounder, snagging 5.8 boards per contest, but Copeland could use some help.
The Redbirds haven’t had much success on the defensive side of the ball, either, giving up 70.4 points a game. Illinois State is 0-8 when letting its opponents score more than 75 points this season, and 8-8 when it fails to do so.
Illinois State is shooting just 42.7 percent from the floor, and hitting only 68.7 percent of its free throws. They are getting out-rebounded over two boards a game, and they haven’t been helping themselves out by doing the little things well.
The Redbirds have lost their last nine road games. Meanwhile, Northern Iowa is 13-0 in its last 13 games in Cedar Falls. The last time these two teams met, on December 31, Illinois State upset Northern Iowa, 76-70.
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