TERRE HAUTE —
³We might have taken [SIU] for granted and our focus factor was off. We¹re
making sure our focus is back on for this game and back to tMissouri State
at ISUhe way it was in Hawaii,² ISU guard Devonte Brown said.
Saying the focus is back and acting on it are two different things. Sunday¹s
practice was spent dissecting what went wrong at SIU, but then that game was
left behind so ISU could prepare for the Bears.
³We can lose every game for the rest of the year if we don¹t prepare the way
we had been preparing. We¹ve had some good wins against some quality
opponents, but we¹ve had some close wins too. These guys have worked hard. I
feel like we¹ve only been out-worked in two games ‹ at Morehead State and at
Southern,² ISU coach Greg Lansing said.
One of the keys for ISU is to let the loss have its place ‹ and to not
forget the lessons the team could take from it ‹ but also to not let the
loss become something deep-seated. It was, after all, just one loss in an
18-game MVC slate.
³That¹s more of a factor than people realize. Coach Lansing was really hard
on us for the first day and when we watched film. Once we got that out of
the way, we put that game behind us and turned our focus to Missouri State,²
Avoidance of turnovers along with better on-ball and help defense were the
primary points of emphasis ISU needed to correct from the SIU loss.
³Everyone had a self-assessment of what we did wrong in the game. That
happened in our next practice and that helped us out,² Brown said.
Missouri State went through a horrid nonconference season, but the Bears
have defended well (third in conference-only field goal defense), have
avoided turnovers (third in conference-only assist-to-turnover ratio) and
have shot the ball well from 3-point range (38.9 percent, also third in
³When you go through those tough times players begin to wonder, ŒCoach is
giving us all of this positive talk, but are we going to get some results?¹
We had to stay on the task at hand. We lost some early heartbreakers, but
stayed on task and showed them we have a chance to win some games, we have
to finish the deal,² said Missouri State coach Paul Lusk during Monday¹s MVC
Missouri State has also reaped the benefits of senior Anthony Downing¹s
strong MVC start. He¹s tied for fourth in conference-only points per game at
18.2 per contest.
Like ISU, Missouri State wants to regain its mojo after a weekend loss. The
Bears fell 74-52 at home on Friday against Creighton. It was a forgettable
game in that Creighton¹s Doug McDermott scored 39 against a depleted
Missouri State lineup that was missing starting guard Marcus Marshall, who
had a sprained ankle and the flu. Guard Dorrian Williams played, but was
also waylaid by the flu.
Both Bears are expected to play tonight.