In a game that featured 11 ties and 10 lead changes, it was no surprise that the outcome came down to the final shot in Wednesday’s game between Illinois State and Indiana State. The Sycamores (12-7, 5-3 MVC) had a chance to win the game on a last-second three-pointer, but the attempt rimmed out as the Redbirds (11-9, 2-6 MVC) held on for the 60-58 victory on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena.
Johnny Hill led the way for the Redbirds with 18 points and Jackie Carmichael just missed out on his 10th double-double of the season with 16 points and nine rebounds. John Wilkins and Tyler Brown rounded out the balanced effort, as each scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds.
The two teams traded baskets for the first seven minutes of the game to a 10-10 tie, before a layup by put the Redbirds up by a basket at 12-10. Just 30 seconds later, the Sycamores took their first lead of the game, when Lucas Eitel hit a three-pointer from the top of the key to make the score 13-12. The Indiana State lead was short-lived, as Hill made a pair of free throws and nailed a floater in the lane to widen the Redbird lead to three at 16-13.
Illinois State extended that quick run out to 8-0 after a jumper by Bryant Allen and a fast break dunk by Brown, which he started with a steal on the defensive end. That forced Indiana State head coach Greg Lansing to call a timeout, as the Redbirds took a 20-13 lead with 9:29 left on the clock.
The Redbirds held a single-digit advantage for the next nine minutes, but the Sycamores used an 11-5 run to chip away at the lead. Khristian Smith had a chance to give the Sycamores the lead with 30 seconds left in the half, but missed a pair of free throws to give Illinois State the final shots of the half. Carmichael missed an attempt with five seconds left, but Anthony Cousin corralled the loose ball and hit a jumper as time expired to give the Redbirds a 29-26 lead at the break.
Indiana State erased the three-point deficit and tied the game at 33-33 at the 15:17 mark, when Dawon Cummings hit a three-pointer from the top of the key. Less than a minute later, Carmichael threw down a dunk on an assist from Kaza Keane to give the Redbirds the lead back and he added a free throw to widen the lead back to three points at 36-33.
The Sycamores fought back with a 6-0 run and took their first lead of the second half at 41-40 on a Manny Arop jumper at the 10:29 mark. The lead would last just over 30 seconds again, as Hill converted on a three-point play to put the Redbirds back up 43-41 with under 10 minutes left in the game.
Devonte Brown gave the Sycamores the lead back at 45-44 with a pair of free throws at the 7:32 mark. Tyler Brown was then fouled outside the arch and he nailed all three free throws to give the Redbirds the lead back at 47-45 soon after. Over the next five minutes, the lead changed five times and the score was tied twice, before the Redbirds extended their lead out to four points a 57-53 with 1:35 left in the game after Hill hit a pair of free throws.
A free throw from John Wilkins extended the ISU run to 7-0 and gave the Redbirds a 58-53 lead with 30 seconds left in the game. The Sycamores got a free throw from RJ Mahurin and a fast break layup from Jake Odum cut the lead to 58-56 with 11 seconds left, forcing the Redbirds to call a timeout.
Hill was fouled on the inbounds play and made the second of two free throws to make the score 59-56. Odum then took the ball and was fouled on the ensuing Indiana State possession. He proceeded to make both free throws to cut the lead 59-58, before Carmichael was fouled on the next Redbird possession to send him to the line. Carmichael hit the first of two free throws to make the score 60-58 and a last-second three-pointer by Odum rimmed out to give the Redbirds the victory.
The Redbirds return to action Saturday night, when they host Evansville at 7 p.m. at Redbird Arena. The game will be broadcast live on Valley TV.
article courtesy ISU Sports Information