Jackie Carmichael and Tyler Brown scored in double-figures, as the Illinois State men’s basketball team (16-10, 7-7 MVC), sporting its throwback uniforms, defeated the Bradley Braves (14-12, 6-8 MVC), 79-59, for its fourth-straight Valley win on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena Wednesday night. Carmichael netted 27 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, while Brown scored 22 and grabbed eight off the glass.
The Redbirds are the hottest team in the MVC, winning seven of its last eight conference contests, and eight of its last nine against the Braves. Illinois State shot 47-perecent from the field (27-of-57) and 33-percent from beyond the arc (7-of-21), while Bradley shot 35-percent from the field (23-of-65) and 33-percent (8-of-24) from three-point land. ISU sank 18-of-20 from the charity stripe, compared to the 5-of-8 performance from BU.
Walt Lemon, Jr., opened the scoring in the contest for the Braves, sinking a trey from the top of the key. Brown answered with back-to-back three pointers of his own, igniting an early 9-2 run for the Redbirds. Brown capped off the run converting all three free throws awarded after being fouled in three-point land, giving ISU a 9-5 advantage. Carmichael added two buckets of his own, while Bryant Allen added another, helping Illinois State to a 15-11 lead heading into the first media timeout.
The teams exchanged baskets until a trey by Tyshon Pickett sparked a 10-2 run for Bradley, regaining the lead with a 24-20 advantage. The Redbirds battled back to tie the game up at 24-24, thanks to two free throws by Carmichael. Back-to-back free throws by John Wilkins gave ISU its second lead of the night, as the Redbirds took a two-point advantage (26-24) into the third media timeout of the first half.
The basket exchange continued, until two Redbird dunks by Brown and John Ekey, gave Illinois State a one-point advantage, as the teams headed into the locker rooms after the first half.
Carmichael and Brown led all scorers, netting 12 and 11 points in the first half, respectively. Carmichael also posted the top number in the rebound column, as he grabbed eight. As a team, the Redbirds shot 36-percent from the field (11-of-30), and a perfect 100-percent from the charity stripe (7-for-7). The Braves shot 42-percent from the field (13-of-31) and 33-percent from beyond the arc (4-of-12).
Jake Eastman opened the scoring in the second half, hitting jumper from just outside the paint, to give Bradley a 33-32 advantage. Carmichael answered with a layup of his own, converting the three-point play after being fouled on his way to the hoop, giving the lead back to ISU, 35-33. The teams exchanged more buckets, before a Johnny Hill three-pointer triggered a 7-0 run for the Redbirds, heading into the first media timeout of the half with a three-point lead, 47-44.
The two teams once again traded baskets, until the Redbirds drained three-straight from the paint. Allen hit a jumper, while Carmichael rolled two off the glass, capping off a 6-0 run and giving Illinois State a seven-point advantage, 55-48. Bradley pulled within two, before back-to-back layups by Carmichael gave ISU a 58-53 advantage with 9:42 left in the game.
Carmichael scored the next six-straight points, while Brown and Wilkins each added two of their own, giving the Redbirds a 64-53 lead with 6:24 remaining. Illinois State closed the game on a 13-3 run, earning its fourth-straight Valley win. ISU posted a 59-percent performance from the field in the second half (16-of-27), sinking four treys, while Bradley shot just 29-percent from the field (10-of-34), matching the four treys of the Redbirds.
Illinois State returns to action, Sunday, Feb. 17, as it plays host to Wichita State. Tip-off is slated for 7:05 p.m.
Article courtesy ISU Sports Information.