The Dan Muller era of Illinois State basketball got off to a good start Monday night, as Illinois State cruised to a 93-64 victory over in-state foe Quincy in exhibition action in front of 4,463 excited fans at Redbird Arena.
Junior Jon Ekey led four Redbird players in double figures with 16 points, including a 4-for-4 effort from behind the arch. Senior Jackie Carmichael added a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Tyler Brown and Bryant Allen each added 13 points in the Redbird victory over the Hawks. Freshman point guard Kaza Keane also had a solid debut with six points, seven rebounds and four assists in his first game in a Redbird uniform.
ISU jumped out to an early 5-2 lead, but five-straight points from Quincy capped off by a three-pointer by Chris Babbitt gave the Hawks a 7-5 lead with at the 16:54 mark. The lead was short-lived, as the Redbirds would go on a 14-0 run to take a 19-7 lead with just under 13 minutes left after Bryant Allen sank a three-pointer. That lead would eventually grow to 19 points at 31-12 with 8:01 left after Keane scored on a fastbreak layup.
Quincy steadily chipped away at the Redbird lead and cut the lead to single digits at nine points, 36-27, following a three-pointer by Dalton Hoover, before a fastbreak dunk by Carmichael gave the Redbirds a 38-27 lead that would hold until the buzzer sounded at halftime.
Illinois State came out of the locker room in the second half on an 11-4 run, kick started on a layup by Keane and a jumper from Brown and capped off on a three-pointer by Ekey and a layup by Carmichael, to take a 51-31 lead at the 15:37 mark. ISU would later extend its lead to 63-42 after a tip in by Ekey with 11:22 left on the clock to give the Redbirds their largest lead of the game to that point. Ekey kept his hot shooting going with his fourth three-pointer of the game to extend the ISU lead to 66-43 with just under 10 minutes left.
The Redbirds kept the momentum going with an 8-2 run and worked the lead back to 23 points at 83-60, after a three-pointer in transition from Brown gave ISU a commanding lead with under four minutes left in the game. A three-pointer by John Wilkins and a pair of layups from Jordan Threloff widened the lead to 90-62 with just over a minute remaining, and the Redbirds would go on to close out the 93-64 victory.
The Redbirds will open the regular season Monday, Nov. 12, against UC Santa Barbara. Tipoff is set for 7:05 p.m., on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena.
article courtesy ISU Sports Information