Redbirds nip Indiana State 62-61
in final seconds
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By LDN staff
[JAN. 7, 2005]
It wasn't the
prettiest college basketball game ever played. A crowd of only 4,923
was on hand, begging the observation that thousands of central
Illinois residents must be hooked on bowling leagues (and I have
nothing against bowling, but when you can get a ticket for just a
few dollars to watch college hoops… I just don't get it). And ISU
was about as flat as a team can be in the first half of last night's
game against a vastly improved Indiana State team. However, in the
second half ISU woke up. The Redbirds outrebounded the Sycamores
18-16 in the second half, committed only five second-half turnovers
and held Indiana State to 38.5 percent shooting in the final stanza;
and all that almost wasn't enough.
Indiana State's David Moss took over
the contest in the game's final moments and just missed delivering a
victory to the very athletic Sycamores. Moss made two free throws
and a huge bank shot but conversely missed two charity tosses that
might have closed the deal.
With the barn door swung open wide, ISU's Trey Guidry, who has been
fighting a mild slump the last few weeks, drove to the lane like a
bull in a china shop, rose up and stuck one of the biggest jumpers
seen in Redbird Arena in quite some time.
With 7.5 seconds to go in the
battle, the Sycamores eschewed calling the timeout and tried to
catch the 'Birds on their heels, but ISU would have none of that. In
fact, Lorenzo Gordon, who would be my pick for ISU's MVP for the
non-conference season, swatted a potential game-winning shot into
the cheap seats (actually the lower bowl has the more expensive
seats… but, I'm on roll).
That left only 0.2 seconds but still
a chance for Indiana State. College basketball rules clearly state
that when under 0.5 seconds remains, that on any inbounds play you
cannot catch and shoot, that there is only time for a tip. The
Sycamores apparently didn't get that memo, as an inbounds pass to
the previously mentioned Moss was caught and flung at the rim. It
had enough steam but clanged off the front rim, setting off a wildly
ecstatic Redbird celebration that led coach Porter Moser to exclaim
after the victory, "I'm not going to apologize for a one-point win."
[to top of second column in
I couldn't agree with him more. You
get no style points for wins and losses in college hoops. There are
no degree-of-difficulty awards pertaining to the quality or lack
thereof of your opponents. You must find a way to win. Survive and
move on. In very many ways that's exactly what ISU did last night.
The victory now makes them 2-2 in Valley action and an impressive
Lincoln's Gregg Alexander continues
to find more ways to help the Redbirds win. Playing on a severely
sprained ankle, he was still all over the floor, leading his team
with tremendous defensive stands. In 26 minutes of action he stifled
Indiana State's guards and still found time to haul down five
rebounds. Actually, it was Alexander who got ISU on the good side of
the scoreboard. His 3-pointer on a nifty side-out-of-bounds play by
coach Moser finally gave ISU the lead early in the second half,
after trailing the entire game up until that point.
Coach Moser also credited the ISU
bench for propelling the team to victory, saying that they brought
more of a defensive edge than the starters did. He also said that
because the team trusts the reserves more now than ever, it is
making ISU a better overall team.
Whatever the case, it is always nice
to eke out another win, no matter how you do it.