Illinois State’s Austin Hill celebrated his senior night in style, connecting on a game-winning layup with three seconds remaining to give the Redbirds a 51-50 victory over arch-rival BradleyTuesday night on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena.
With the win, the Redbirds (12-17, 4-13 MVC) swept the season series against the Braves (10-19, 3-14 MVC) for the second-straight year and extended their winning streak to five games against their in-state foe, the longest such streak since ISU won seven-straight games against BU from 1982-85.
After Bradley’s Dyricus Simms-Edwards hit a floater with 10 seconds left to give Bradley a 50-49 lead, Hill went the length of the court, weaving through the Bradley defense and converted on a tough layup from the right block to give the lead back to the Redbirds at 51-50 with three seconds left. A half-court effort from Bloomington native Dodie Dunson fell short, giving the Redbirds the victory.
Jackie Carmichael recorded his first double-double since Jan. 30 against Drake and third of the season, finishing the game with 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting and to go along with 13 boards. Simms-Edwards led the Bradley scoring attack with 15 points, while Jordan Prosser contributed 10 boards.
The Braves jumped out to a 17-6 lead at the 12:05 mark in the first half, highlighted by an 11-0 run after the score was tied at six early in the contest. The Redbirds turned the ball over seven times in the first eight minutes, which translated into nine Bradley points. ISU cut the Bradley advantage to seven at 21-16 at the 4:23 mark after a jumper from Carmichael, who paced the Redbirds in the first half with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and nine rebounds.
After Bradley’s Andrew Warren connected on a three to give the Braves a 21-10 lead at the 7:35 mark, the Redbirds locked down on defense, holding Bradley to four points in the final seven minutes and change. The Braves went 0-for-7 shooting in the final 7:35 of the first half, with the four points coming from four Simms-Edwards free throws.
A three-pointer from Alex Rubin brought the Redbirds within two at 21-19 at the 2:33 mark, which extended the streak of consecutive games with a three point field-goal made to 362 for the Redbirds. After a quick 4-2 run from the Braves, both teams headed into the locker room at halftime, with Bradley holding a slim 25-21 lead.
Bradley extended its lead to seven points early in the second half at 32-25, after a three-point field goal from Warren. A poor free-throw shooting effort from Bradley and four points John Wilkins kept the Redbirds in the early moments of the final 20 minutes. A quick 5-0 run brought the Redbirds within two at 32-30 with 12:24 remaining, capped by an offensive rebound put-back from Blake Mishler. A Bradley turnover on its next possession led to two Justin Clark free throws which evened the score at 32-32, the first tie since 6-6 in the early moments of the first half.
Bradley responded with a 6-0 run, leaving the score at 40-34 with 7:34 remaining, sparked by four points from Brad Eastman. ISU would not back down, responding with a 5-0 run capped off by a three-pointer from Wilkins to draw the ‘Birds within one at 40-39 with 6:10 left.
ISU was still within one at 46-45 with 1:59 remaining. After a missed jumper by Warren, ISU took its first lead of the game, as Carmichael converted on a layup to give the ‘Birds a 47-46 advantage with 1:09 remaining. A broken play on the next possession found Bradley’s Dodie Dunson wide open under the basket for a layup, giving the lead back to the Braves at 48-47 with 34 seconds left. Hill was fouled on the next Redbird possession, and converted on both free throws, leaving the Redbirds with a 49-48 lead with 15.9 seconds to play, setting the stage for finish.
Article courtesy ISU Sports Information