[January 06, 2014]NORMAL — Illinois State used a 17-2 second-half run to pull away late and defeat
Southern Illinois 66-48 Sunday afternoon at Redbird Arena. The
Redbirds have now won five consecutive games at Redbird Arena, their
longest home winning streak since since securing six straight home wins
during the 2011-2012 season.
The Redbirds had their best defensive effort of the season,
limiting Southern Illinois to just 32 percent shooting, including
just 25 percent shooting (5 of 25) in the second half. Illinois
State shot 42-percent from the floor and outscored SIU 28-17 in the
Two Redbirds registered double-figure scoring, paced by Zach
Lofton's game-high 18 points on 5-of-11 shooting. Lofton added four
3-point baskets and was 4 for 4 from the free-throw line. Bobby
Hunter tallied 15 points, his seventh double-figure scoring effort
over his last eight games. Paris Lee notched a career-high seven
assists, and the Redbirds had 16 assists on 21 baskets. Illinois
State won the rebounding advantage 37-35, and Lee had a game-best
Southern Illinois opened the game on a 9-0 run, as Marcus Fillyaw
and Desmar Jackson each tallied 3-point baskets and Sean
O'Brien added a three-point foul play. Nick Zeisloft's 3-point
basket with 17:20 to play in the half put Illinois State on the board, and after a SIU
basket, Daishon Knight added a 3 to cut the deficit to 11-6
heading into the first media timeout.
Illinois State rallied for a 6-0 run out of the break, taking its
first advantage of the game, 12-11, on a John Jones bucket.
Following a Southern basket, Hunter hit his first 3, and Kaza
Keane weaved through the lane for a layup, sparking a 9-2 run that
built the Illinois State advantage to 21-15 midway through the
Facing a 26-19 deficit with 8:11 to play in the opening half,
Southern Illinois went on an 8-2 swing to cut the Redbird advantage
to 28-27. With the Salukis attempting to reclaim the lead, Lofton
stole the ball from a cutting Jackson and went the length of the
court for a layup, snapping the Southern Illinois run and extending
the Redbird lead to 30-27 with three minutes to play in the first
half. Jackson followed with a two-handed dunk, but on Illinois
State's next possession, the Redbirds tallied a pair of offensive
rebounds, leading to a Jones hook shot. Following a stop, Lofton
drilled a 3 from the top of the key, giving Illinois State a
six-point advantage, 35-29, with one minute left in the half.
With 0.4 seconds left in the opening half, the Salukis fouled Hunter
from beyond the 3-point arc. The Redbird guard netted all three
free throws, to put Illinois State on top 38-31 at halftime.
Both teams opened the second half cold from the floor, with
Southern netting just one free throw and 0-for-2 field goal
shooting over the first three minutes of the half. The Redbirds
missed their first four shots from the floor before committing a
pair of turnovers, leading to five Salukis points. Hunter
stopped the run with a 3-point basket from the top of the
key, extending the Illinois State advantage to 41-36 with 15:59
to play in regulation.
After Southern Illinois cut the deficit
to three, Lofton drilled a 3-pointer from in front of the
Illinois State bench to double the advantage to six, 44-38, with
14:20 to go. Illinois State extended its advantage with a trio of
defensive stops and four consecutive points from Hunter, building a
48-38 lead with 12 minutes on the clock.
Tony Wills' layup with
9:33 snapped a four-minute drought in which Illinois State did not
make a field goal. He was fouled on the play and made the layup,
giving Illinois State a 51-40 lead with nine minutes left. Lofton added
a 3-point basket and Lynch finished a three-point foul play,
adding to Illinois State's 17-2 run and giving Illinois State a
58-40 lead. The Salukis did not score for a three-minute stretch, before
Jackson's 10-foot jumper with six minutes to go in regulation snapped
the Redbird run.
Lofton's fading 3-point basket extended the Illinois State lead
to 63-45 late in regulation, and the Illinois State defense did not
relent, setting up Illinois State's 66-48 win.
The Redbirds return to action Wednesday, when they travel to
Wichita, Kan., to take on Wichita State in a Missouri Valley
Conference tilt. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. Illinois State next
plays at home on Saturday, when Loyola visits Redbird Arena.
Tickets can be secured by visiting
GoRedbirds.com or by calling
news release received from Illinois State