TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Illinois State came back from a nine-point first-half deficit to briefly take a one-point lead with 4:15 left in the first half; however, Indiana State then outscored the Redbirds, 16-4, to take an 11-point halftime advantage en route to a 76-62 win over Illinois State Saturday evening at the Hulman Center.
Bobby Hunter led three Redbirds (11-9, 4-4 Missouri Valley Conference) in double figures with 13 points, while freshmen Paris Lee and Reggie Lynch both chipped in 11 points. Lynch also led ISU's rebounding-effort with seven boards plus two blocks and one steal. Indiana State's Manny Arop and Dawon Cummings both netted 14 points to lead the Sycamores (16-4, 7-1 MVC).
Indiana State jumped out to an early 18-9 advantage at the 12:16 mark following a 10-2 run. However, the Redbirds went on a 7-0 run to pull within 18-16 on a Hunter layup with 8:12 remaining in the first half. A three-pointer by Kaza Keane edged Illinois State within one at 6:33, and a John Jones free throw tied the score at 23-23. Jones later gave the Redbirds their first and only lead on a free throw at the 4:15 mark, lifting Illinois State ahead, 25-24.
However, Indiana State regained the lead - which it never relinquished - on a three-pointer by Khristian Smith. After outscoring Illinois State, 16-4, in the final four minutes of the first half, Indiana State also outscored the Redbirds, 36-33, in the second half. The Sycamores shot 50 percent from the field - including 52.4 percent on 11-for-21 shooting from beyond the arc - while the Redbirds were held to 36.4 percent field goal shooting in the loss.