TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – In their first game away from the Hulman Center this season, the Sycamores meet East Carolina in the first round of the Gulf Coast Showcase in Estero, Fla. on Monday afternoon. Tipp-off is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at the Hertz Arena.
The winner of this game meets the Toledo/Kansas City winner on Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. and the loser meets the Toledo/Kansas City loser on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m
The ISU is 3-0 in the season for the first time since 2011-12 when the Trees opened the season 5-0. The Sycamores have scored 80 or more points in all three wins and outsell their opponent by more than 21 points in their first three games.
Thursday’s 101-75 win over NDSU marked the first time since February 2, 1985 that the ISU had scored 100 or more points against a regular Division I team. The Sycamores were led Courvoisier McCauley’s DI career high 30 points.
Monday is just the second-ever ECU-ISU meeting and the second MTE matchup at neutral locations. The two teams faced each other on December 8, 1978 in the opening game of the Hatter Classic hosted by Stetson University in Deland, Florida. Larry Bird beat all game scorers by 32 points as the Sycamores defeated the Pirates 102-79.
LAST GAME AGAINST THE PIRATES (FULL SUMMARY)
Indiana State, behind double digits from All-America Larry Bird, Carl Nicks and Leroy Staley, clinched an easy 102-79 win over East Carolina in the opening game of the Hatter Classic, played at Stetson University.
Bird, who scored 26 points in the first half, finished the game with 32 points on 15 of 22 field goals and two foul shots while playing just 27 minutes. Nicks added 13 points and Staley chipped in 10.
The Sycamores overtook the Pirates 50-39, Bird grabbed nine boards, and Staley and Alex Gilbert each tucked five.
ECU AT A GLANCE
The 3-0 Pirates earn a win over Hampton, where Quentin Diboundje and Javon Small each had 17 points as East Carolina, after a 17-point deficit, won 82-73 in the second half on Wednesday night at the Williams Arena at the Minges Coliseum . ECU went on a 20-0 run to turn a 57-70 deficit into a 77-70 lead at 7:23 with 1:26 remaining in play. The Pirates went off the ground 6 of 9 during that stretch, including three shots from behind the arc in back-to-back possessions.
The Pirates are 7-8 all-time against teams from the Missouri Valley Conference, including 0-1 against ISU.
In the last two Pirates games, the opponents managed just a single field goal together in the last eight minutes of the second half. The Pirates have dropped just 31 total points in the last eight minutes of their first three games, with just 15 in their last two games.
Three pirates average double-digit scores, including Brandon Johnson (19.5 ppg), Javon Small (18.7 ppg), and RJ Felton (13.0 ppg). Johnson also leads the Pirates on the boards with 9.5 rebounds per game.
The Indiana State Sycamores scored early and often on Thursday night as they went 3-0 up this season with a 101-75 win over visiting North Dakota State Bison at the Hulman Center. The Sycamores scored the first goal and stayed clean for the second game in a row, and their lead reached a game-high 35 points at 15-10 in the second half.
Courvoisier McCauley paced all scorers in the game with a DI career-high 30 points. Cooper Neese and Cameron Henry Each joined McCauley on 16 and 15 points, respectively, in double figures, and 12 of 13 Sycamores who saw action in the game scored.
McCauley sparked a 9-0 run in the first half with back-to-back buckets that stretched the ISU lead to 10 points at 15-5 in less than five minutes into play. Neese and McCauley connected in back-to-back groups of three just two minutes later, and by the 13:06 mark, McCauley was already in double figures with 12 points as the Sycamores led 25-11.
Kailex Stephens later sparked an 11-0 run for the ISU with a 3-pointer at 4:35 and the Sycamores led 45:24 by the end of the run. ISU held the Bison to just two points in the final six minutes of the first half, going 49-29 at the break.
Indiana State went on an 18-2 run from 2:55 early in the second half, and in that span the Sycamores were 6-6 from the field, including 4-4 from long-range. McCauley ended that run with back-to-back triples to lead the ISU by a game-high 35 points, 69-35 and 15-10. With less than two minutes to go, Xavier Bledson hit a pair of free throws and hit a bucket to push the Sycamores past the century mark.
The Sycamores are 35-42 in multi-team events in their Division I era.
The last time ISU won an MTE was the Indiana Classic in 1999. The Sycamores defeated North Texas 77-63 and then IU 63-60.
The last time the ISU made it to an MTE championship game was the Diamond Head Classic in 2018. The Sycamores defeated Colorado 72-67 and UNLV 84-79 before falling to TCU 83-69.
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