Thursday, December 18, 2014
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Knight, Redbirds Rally For 64-54 Win Over UT Martin

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[December 18, 2014]  NORMAL – Daishon Knight scored all 18 of his points in the second half as Illinois State used a late rally to earn a 64-54 win over visiting UT Martin Wednesday at Redbird Arena.

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 rebounds.

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 moments later.

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.

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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 University] Your online source for Illinois State Athletics tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.


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