Times Sports Editor
The Indiana State Sycamores head to Louisiana-Monroe for the first of two contests against the Warhawks this season beginning at 8 p.m. this evening. Indiana State is looking to improve to 2-0 this season after winning its ninth season opener in the last 10 tries with a 79-72 victory over Eastern Illinois on Friday at the Hulman Center.
The Sycamores have never faced the Warhawks as ISU last played a Sun Belt Conference opponent on Nov. 29 of 2009 when Indiana State topped Arkansas State on the road.
Louisiana-Monroe is coached by Keith Richard, a 1982 graduate of the school. He is in his 11th season of coaching and has compiled a 157-142 overall mark. He is in his second year at the helm of his alma mater and is 7-25 overall.
The Warhawks are coming off a 60-38 season opening loss to Ole Miss in which the team shot just 28 percent for the game and was a woeful 7-of-18 from the free throw line. Louisiana-Monroe failed to have a player reach double figures in scoring for the first time since 2006 against Iowa State. Despite the team's offensive problems, the Warhawks kept themselves in the game with a second half defensive display that saw the Rebels shoot just 23 percent from the field.
ULM got within 16 points in the second half, but was unable to get any closer in the opener.
The Warhawks are led by Preseason All-Sun Belt Third Team nominee, Fred Brown, a 6'2 senior guard from West Palm Beach, Fla. who ranked 10th in conference scoring with 13.8 ppg. and 60 3-pointers made.
Indiana State placed four players in double-figure scoring in the opener against the Panthers. Carl Richards had 15 points followed by Jake Odum's 14-point, seven-assist effort from the point guard spot. Myles Walker and Dwayne Lathan each had 11 points for the Sycamores.
Terre Haute North 2011 graduate Justin Gant made his ISU debut and had two points, a rebound a blocked a Panther shot.
Lathan, a senior guard at ISU, is returning home tonight as his hometwon of Chatham, La., is just 30 miles away from the ULM campus and he began his college career at Louisiana Tech. He was signed by current Warhawk coach Keith Richards as well as current ISU assistant coach Lou Gudino, who spent two seasons as an assistant at Louisiana Tech.
Tip-off will be at 8 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on the radio via ESPN Radio 92.7 or online at GoSycamores.com.