ISU Falls in MVC Final

By WEEK Producer

March 4, 2012 Updated Mar 4, 2012 at 11:47 PM CDT

Three-straight shots beyond the arc late in overtime weren't enough, as the Illinois State men's basketball team (20-13, 9-9 MVC) fell to No. 25 Creighton (28-5, 14-4 MVC), 83-79, Sunday in the 2012 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Championship game at the Scottrade Center.

Nic Moore led the Redbirds with 20 points with 16 of those points coming after the half. Jackie Carmichael netted 17 points, while Tyler Brown and Jon Ekey added 16 and 13 points, respectively. Carmichael brought down nine boards, while Moore and John Wilkins each grabbed four. Creighton dominated the boards, bringing down 42 compared to Illinois State's 33. ISU shot 41 percent from the field, while CU hit 48 percent of its shots. Brown and Carmichael were named to the All-Tournament Team for their performances throughout the tournament.

Both teams traded baskets to start the game, but an 8-3 run by Creighton gave the Bluejays a five-point lead, 19-14, with 12:28 to play in the opening half. Doug McDermott hit back-to-back threes from the corner for CU during the run. The Redbirds were held scoreless for nearly seven minutes, while the Bluejays went on another run to pull ahead by 11, 27-16, with 6:46 remaining in the first half.

Illinois State battled back and got within five, 27-23, thanks to a 7-0 run that was led by Carmichael with a jumper and a pair of free throws. Another Creighton three put the Bluejays up by seven, but ISU ended the half on an 8-0 run and headed into the locker room up by one, 31-30, off of a trey from the corner by Brown with three second left before the buzzer.

At the half, Brown led the Redbirds with eight points, while Carmichael added seven and grabbed five rebounds. Illinois State shot 41 percent from the field in the first half, while Creighton made 42 percent of their shot attempts. CU dominated the boards, bringing down 22 compared to ISU's 13.

ISU used an 8-0 run early in the second half to grab a four-point lead, 41-37, with 14:17 left to play. Ekey hit back-to-back threes to give the Redbirds a six-point advantage, 51-45, with just under 10 minutes to go, but Illinois State hit another dry spell that lasted five minutes, while Creighton went on another 8-0 run to take the lead by two, 53-51 with 6:25 to play.

During the final minutes of the game, the Redbirds and the Bluejays exchanged baskets, but a layup by Moore with six seconds left tied the game, 66-66. Creighton couldn't score in its final possession of regulation, forcing the game into overtime. Creighton started overtime with a 9-2 run, but ISU hit three-straight shots beyond the arc to stay in the game. The Redbirds weren't able to overcome the early deficit and fell to the Bluejays, 83-79.

Redbird fans can welcome the team back to Normal, Ill., at Redbird Arena to congratulate them on their strong performances during the MVC Tournament. The team is expected to arrive at Redbird Arena between 7-8 p.m. WJBC (1230AM | 93.7 FM) will have all of the latest information regarding the team's arrival time. Fans can park in the Red Lot by Turner Hall.

Article courtesy ISU Sports Information

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