Illinois State (6-3) finished the game on a 14-2 run to win its
third game in a row and end UT Martin’s three-game winning streak.
Reggie Lynch scored 12 points, including a 6-for-6 showing from the
foul line, to go with eight rebounds. Justin McCloud poured in a
career-high 11 points, while MiKyle McIntosh added a team-high nine
In addition to his game-high 18 points, Knight chipped in five
rebounds and a team-high five assists.
The Redbirds got off to a slow start, missing their first nine shots
from the field. They ended the cold spell when McCloud grabbed a
backcourt steal for an uncontested layup. McCloud’s layup sparked an
8-0 run for the Redbirds, which featured six points from Lynch.
McCloud added a pair of 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions
UT Martin (6-4) stayed within striking distance, but another 8-0 ISU
run, featuring a 3-pointer and an elbow jumper from Deontae Hawkins,
helped the Redbirds build a nine-point lead at 22-13 midway through
the first half.
A driving layup from McIntosh with 3:15 remaining in the half ended
a five-point UT Martin run and an ISU scoring drought of over four
minutes. McIntosh added a dunk at the 1:15 mark and a Tony Wills
runner gave the Redbirds their biggest lead of the half, at 28-18,
which Illinois State carried into the break.
The Skyhawks cut into the ISU lead with a 17-6 run coming out of
intermission and took a 35-34 lead with a Deville Smith 3-pointer at
the 13:55 mark. UT Martin converted on its first 10 shots from the
field to start the second half and took their biggest lead of the
game, a five-point advantage at 42-37, after Twymond Howard sank the
first of two free throws with 11:20 remaining in the contest.
[to top of second column]
The Redbirds reclaimed the lead with their third 8-0 run of the
game. Knight fueled the run with four points and an assist on a
Lynch dunk that gave ISU a 45-42 lead with 8:38 to play.
UT Martin evened the score again at 48-48 with a 3-pointer from Alex
Anderson, who gave the visitors the lead seconds later with a
baseline jumper at the 5:16 mark.
The Redbirds used their biggest run of the game to take the lead for
good, however, as a 9-0 binge put the hosts back in control. Knight
gave the Redbirds the lead for good with a 3-pointer from the corner
with 3:45 to play. Knight scored seven points over the final four
minutes, while the UT Martin was limited to just two points over the
final five minutes.
The Redbirds shot 40 percent (22-of-55) from the field, 77.8 percent
(14-of-18) from the foul line and 37.5 percent (6-of-16) from
3-point territory. ISU held a 41-30 edge in rebounding.
The Redbirds return to action Saturday when they travel to Murray,
Kentucky, for a non-conference tilt with Murray State. Tip-off is
slated for 3 p.m.
[Matt Wing, Illinois State
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