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Monday, March 7

Scoring droughts sink 'Birds in Valley quarterfinal

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[MARCH 7, 2005]  ST. LOUIS -- Scoring droughts of over four minutes in length in each half proved to be the demise of the Illinois State men's basketball team Saturday night in the last quarterfinal game of the 2005 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Championship, as the Redbirds dropped a 69-52 decision to Creighton at the Savvis Center.

Illinois State fell to 17-13 on the year, while Creighton improved to 21-10 to face No. 2 seed Wichita State in the second semifinal Sunday night.

Cold shooting dominated the start of the game as the two teams battled to a 2-2 tie at the first media timeout. With the Redbirds trailing 6-5, Creighton used a 13-1 run coupled with a 4:14 ISU scoring drought to build a 19-6 advantage, the largest lead of the half. The 'Birds put together a rally and closed the gap to 26-23 on a 17-7 run, including five points by Dana Ford.

Creighton blew open its 28-23 halftime lead with a 20-2 run to open the second half. During that spurt, the 'Birds were held scoreless for 4:45. The Jays led by as many as 24 points, at 51-27. ISU had one final surge to close the deficit to 13 points at 58-45, but that was as close as the Redbirds would get.

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Trey Guidry led the Redbirds with 16 points, including 14 in the second half. Ford was the only other player from ISU in double figures, with 11.

Creighton's Nate Funk tossed in 20 points and Jimmy Motz chipped in 15, while Anthony Tolliver and Johnny Mathies each finished with 10 points.

[Todd Kober, assistant athletics director, media relations,
Illinois State University]

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