MVC Tournament final: No. 1 Wichita State vs. No. 2 Indiana State

Sunday’s schedule – 1:05 p.m. (CBS)

WSU 65, Indiana State 58

WSU 68, Indiana State 48

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Thinking about the Sycamores

Guard Jake Odum, an All-MVC pick, makes Indiana State go, as every Valley fan knows. He can only do so much and he received criminally low levels of support from his big men in the two regular-season losses to WSU.

Starting center Justin Gant went 2 for 14 with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Center Ted Kitchell went 2 for 4 with seven points and five rebounds. Forward Demetrius Moore, who started both games, went 0 for 2 with no points and two rebounds.

While the Sycamores out-rebounded WSU 41-35 in Terre Haute, the Shocker bigs are an overwhelming force. At Koch Arena, WSU won 68-48 and outscored the Sycamores 34-14 in the lane.¬†Indiana State can’t make this one interesting without a better effort, especially from Gant. The Sycamores possess the size and experience to match WSU’s effort on the boards, as they showed in the Hulman Center last month. Can they do it in front of a pro-WSU crowd and can they do it playing their third game in three days?

WSU’s defense also shut down Indiana State’s outside shooting. The Sycamores made 5 of 20 threes in both games and shot under 33 percent from the field in both.

Odum beats teams in many ways, often by getting to the foul line. He averages 5.3 points a game from the line. On Saturday, he made 10 of 15 in the semifinal win over Southern Illinois. WSU has done a good job of defending without fouling. He is 4 for 4 this season against the Shockers from the line. Manny Arop has hurt the Shockers before and is a player they must defend. Sophomore Khristian Smith is on his way to becoming an All-MVC player. The Sycamores, as finishing second in the MVC indicates, are capable of making this game a challenge for longer periods than most.

Indiana State’s defense can keep Sunday’s game close. WSU shot 42.9 percent in the first game and 42.6 in the second.