second-half shooting propels 'Birds to 62-50 win
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[NOV. 30, 2005]
NORMAL -- At times Tuesday night's basketball game
between Illinois State and Grambling State seemed destined for a
low-scoring and sloppy outcome for both teams. However, a
second-half scoring surge by the Redbirds, 3-1, combined with 37
percent shooting from the field for the Tigers, 2-2, led to an
exciting finish as ISU defeated Grambling State 62-50 Tuesday night
at Redbird Arena.
Defense was once again the story for Illinois State in the first
half, as the Redbirds held Grambling to just 16 points and limited
the Tigers to 23.3 percent shooting from the field in the opening
half. The Tigers were the first to get on the board, though, when
Donte Gordon scored on a free throw one minute into the game.
However, it did not take the Redbirds long to score, as Greg
Dilligard answered with a layup 20 seconds later to get the scoring
started for ISU.
After trading baskets, ISU went up 10-6 on a Dilligard dunk but
soon went cold, as the 'Birds did not score for nearly five minutes
and allowed Grambling to eventually take the lead on a layup by
Jamal Breaux with 12:03 left in the first half. ISU got the lead
back quickly after consecutive baskets by Dilligard gave the
Redbirds a 16-14 edge with 9:27 left. From there, the Redbird
defense clamped down and gave up just two points for the rest of the
half, taking a 26-16 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Dilligard led the Redbird attack in the first half, shooting
6-for-8 from the field for 12 points and grabbing six rebounds. Dana
Ford and Nedu Onyeuku chipped in four points each, and Khalif Ford
added five assists. Andre Ratliff led the Tigers with five points.
[to top of second column in this article]
Grambling State came out inspired in the second half, going on an
8-2 run to start the half. Anthony Williams had five points to spark
the Tiger run to within two points of the 'Birds at 28-26 with 17:13
left in the game. However, the Redbirds answered with a 16-2 run to
take control once again. Dana Ford sparked the run with nine points,
eventually leading to his career-high 16 points.
ISU was ahead from then on, leading by as many as 16 points at
one point. Senior Neil Plank scored all of his 11 points in the
second half, and Dilligard finished one rebound short of a
double-double, with a game- and career-high 18 points and nine
Grambling State had three players in double figures. Williams led
the way with 15 points, Ratliff added 13, and Brion Rush chipped in
The Redbirds return to action Saturday for the third game of
their current five-game homestand. ISU will face Wisconsin-Green Bay
in a nonconference matchup set to tip off at 4:05 p.m. at Redbird
[Heather Freehill, assistant media
relations director, Illinois