The Illinois State men’s basketball team (1-1) won its 14th-straight home game against an in-state opponent by posting a convincing 68-38 victory in the Triple Crown Cancun Challenge over SIU Edwardsville (0-2) in its 2011 home opener on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena.
Junior Jackie Carmichael highlighted the Redbird effort with his sixth-career double-double, tossing in 16 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Sophomore Jon Ekey and freshman Nic Moore also eclipsed the double-digit mark, finishing the evening with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Redshirt freshman Jordan Threloff collected eight boards and Ekey grabbed seven, as Illinois State outrebounded the visiting Cougars, 39-35.
ISU was impressive defensively, holding SIUE to the lowest shooting percentage in the history of Redbird Arena. The Cougars connected on just 13 of their 51 shots for a 25.5 percent effort and hit just 5-of-18 three-point attempts.
Illinois State opened the contest by scoring the first 11 points to take an 11-0 lead in the first six minutes of the contest. SIU Edwardsville ended the drought by getting a three-pointer from Kris Davis and a free throw from Mark Yelovich to trim the Redbird advantage to 11-4 at the 13:29 mark.
Ekey capped a 14-7 ISU run with an emphatic dunk on a lob from junior Anthony Cousin to push the Illinois State margin to 25-11 with 5:08 remaining in the first half. The Cougars responded by scoring the next five to cut the lead back to single digits at 25-16.
The Redbirds scored nine of the final 10 first-half points to take a 34-17 into the locker room. The ISU defense held SIUE to a 6-for-30 shooting effort, including a 23 percent clip (3-for-13) from behind the arc, over the first 20 minutes. Illinois State knocked down 13 of its 29 first-half shots, including four treys.
Carmichael highlighted an early second-half run by converting a three-point play, after being fouled on a dunk and grabbed his 10th rebound of the contest to complete his double-double. The Manhattan, Kan., native capped the run by burying a pair of free throws to build ISU’s lead to 42-17 with 17:32 left to play.
The Redbirds led by as many as 30, taking a 52-22 lead on a jumper by freshman Johnny Hill with 12:27 remaining. With the win, Illinois State has now won all five of its home openers under head coach Tim Jankovich.
Yelovich led all scorers with 18 points and Kevin Stineman grabbed a team-high nine rebounds for SIUE.
Illinois State will continue the Triple Crown Cancun Challenge when its hosts Lipscomb Saturday, Nov. 19 at 4:05 p.m.
article courtesy ISU Sports Information