[March 21, 2014]NORMAL
— Illinois State guard Daishon Knight with 18 points led four
players in double figures as the Redbirds pulled away in the second half
for a 77-67 defeat of Morehead State in the first round of the College
Basketball Invitational on Wednesday night on Doug Collins Court at
With the win, the Redbirds will remain at home to host a CBI
quarterfinal game Monday against Texas A&M. The Aggies will be the
first-ever Southeastern Conference opponent to play at Redbird Arena
and only the second to play in Normal (Mississippi in 1978 was the
first). ISU is 1-0 all-time versus Texas A&M, with the Redbirds
winning 74-66 in overtime on Dec. 21, 1984, at the American Savings
Classic in Stockton, Calif.
Bobby Hunter finished the game with 16
points, including an 8-for-10 effort from the free-throw line, and
Nick Zeisloft chipped in 13 points thanks to a 3-for-6 effort from
behind the arc. Reggie Lynch rounded out the Redbird quartet in
double figures with 12 points to go along with eight rebounds and
The Eagles maintained a small single-digit lead over the first
six-plus minutes of the game, before Knight drilled a 3-pointer from
the top of the key to give the Redbirds their first lead of the game
at 8-7 with 13:13 left in the first half. The two teams then traded
baskets until Knight connected from 3-point range for the second
time in the half to put ISU up 18-15. A 3-pointer by Nick Zeisloft
extended the lead to six points at 21-15 with just over six minutes
left in the first half. Illinois State would not trail for the
remainder of the game.
Brent Arrington then connected on a jumper to cut the lead back
to four points at 21-17 on the next possession, but five straight
points from Tony Wills on a layup and a 3-pointer gave ISU a
nine-point lead at 26-17. A 3-point play by Hunter extended the
Redbird run to 15-2 and gave ISU a double-digit lead for the first
time in the game at 29-17 with 4:23 left on the clock.
Morehead State chipped away at the lead and cut it to single
digits at 29-23 after Billy Reader converted a 3-point play and
Angelo Warner connected from behind the arc with just over two
minutes left in the half. John Jones, who returned to the lineup
from injury for the first time since Jan. 25, put an exclamation
point on the first 20 minutes of play with an alley-oop dunk from
Kaza Keane to give ISU a 33-25 lead at the break.
The Eagles came out of the locker room on a 12-5 run to cut the
ISU to one at 38-37. Knight then scored five straight points for the
Redbirds, via his third 3-pointer of the game and a pair of free
throws, to make the score 43-37 four minutes into the second half.
ISU maintained a single-digit lead until Zeisloft connected on a
3-pointer, his third of the game, to put the Redbirds up 55-45 with
nine minutes left. A dunk by Jones a minute later extended the lead
to 57-46, but Kareem Storey answered with his second trey of the
contest to cut the ISU lead to eight at the under eight-minute
The lead would grow to as many as 18 points at 71-53 after a
tip-in by Lynch with 2:40 left in the game, and ISU would cruise the
rest of the way and secure the victory.
Game time was yet to be determined for Monday’s contest, but
tickets for the game are on sale at the Redbird Arena ticket office,
GoRedbirds.com or by calling 309-438-8000. The cost is $5 for
students, $10 for upper-bowl tickets and $15 for lower-bowl tickets.