DAYTON, Ohio – Behind a balanced scoring attack with all five Illinois State starters in double-figure points, the Redbirds led from the first basket until the final whistle and claimed a 69-61 non-conference season-opening victory over Wright State at the Ervin J. Nutter Center Saturday night.
With the victory, the Redbirds claimed their third-straight non-conference road victory, dating back to last season, and improved to 1-0 on the season.
Champ Oguchi, who posted his first career double-double with a career-best 13 rebounds and added 14 points, put the Redbirds on the scoreboard first with a three-point basket at the 18:31 mark in the first half. The Redbirds jumped out to a 13-5 lead at the 13:50 mark with a fast-break dunk by Osiris Eldridge, who posted a game-high 15 points.
Wright State closed the gap to two points twice, but ISU used a 17-7 run late in the half to build a 35-23 lead at the 3:29 mark. The Raiders decreased their deficit to 38-33, but Eldridge sank a deep three-pointer with three seconds left in the half for the 41-33 midway margin.
After a pair of free throws by Sead Odzic at the 13:22 mark in the second half, the Redbirds pushed the lead back up to double-digits, 51-41. ISU maintained at least a 10-point lead for the rest of the half until Wright State made its final run in the final four minutes. An 8-0 Raider run closed the Redbird lead to 62-59, with 57 seconds left, but Lloyd Phillips sank a running layup in the lane to put ISU up, 64-59, with 43 seconds left.
Oguchi sank three of his four free throw attempts down the stretch to seal the victory.
Emmanuel Holloway added 12 points for the Redbirds, while both Dinma Odiakosa and Phillips added 10 points apiece. WSU’s Vaughn Duggins and Cooper Land led the Raiders with 12 points each.
Courtesy ISU Sports Information