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January 16, 2013

Sycamores looking to bounce back from loss at Southern Illinois

ISU faces Missouri State on Wednesday


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

Odum said.

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

conference-only games).

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.

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