Redbirds struggle in final minutes, look forward to Arch Madness


Illinois State’s late offensive struggles forces the Redbirds to fall to the Ramblers in Chicago. (Photo Courtesy WJBC)

By ISU Sports Information

CHICAGO – Illinois State secured the third seed in the upcoming Arch Madness, as the Redbirds got a career-high 21 points from William Tinsley, and 20 from Keyshawn Evans; however, could not overcome Loyola on Saturday afternoon, falling 68-61 in front of 4,963 fans at Gentile Arena.

How It Happened

Tinsley got the offense going, scoring the team’s first eight points, as the teams went back and forth throughout the first half, with neither team jumping ahead by more than a possession until the Ramblers went up four with 6:12 to play in the first 20 minutes. The Rambler lead grew to as many as six in the first half, before Evans drained a three-pointer with 51 seconds left to close the gap to three. Loyola struck last in the half with a lay-in that narrowly beat the halftime horn, sending the hosts into the locker room with a five-point, 33-28 lead.

The Redbirds fought back, and after trailing by three with 12:08 to play, Illinois State ran off nine straight points on a three-point play by Phil Fayne, and then back-to-back three-pointers by Evans. That 9-0 run – the team’s 18th 9-0 run or better this season – stretched the Redbird lead to six; however, the hosts answered immediately back with a 10-0 run to lead by four. Illinois State got a three-pointer from Evans and a lay-in by Tinsley to take a one-point lead with 4:46 to play. The hosts made two three-pointers in the final three minutes of the game, and iced the game at the free throw stripe, making all four of their free throw tries, securing the seven-point, 68-61 victory.

Key Moment

Keyshawn Evans made back-to-back three-pointers to give Illinois State its largest lead of the game at six with 9:56 to play in the game.

Inside the Box Score

  • For the second straight game the Redbirds had two players score 20 or more points, for this game it was Tinsley and Evans.
  • Tinsley’s 21 points came on 8-of-13 shooting from the field and 5-of-10 from long range. It breaks his previous career-high of 18 set against UNI on Feb. 17. He also added six rebounds, an assist and a blocked shot.
  • Evans made 6-of-10 from long range in the game, scoring 20 points, his eighth game of scoring at least that many points. Evans also dished out four assists and grabbed four rebounds.
  • Fayne was held scoreless in the first half, before coming back with nine points in the second half while adding five rebounds, two steals, and a blocked shot.
  • Milik Yarbrough scored nine points while dishing out six assists and pulling down seven rebounds.

Stat of the Game

12: The double-figure three-point total is the 15th time this season that the Redbirds have made at least 10 three-point field goals, as the team has also done it in each of the last three games.

What’s Next
As the No. 3 seed, Illinois State will face off against Indiana State on Friday, March 2, in the 8:30 p.m. game at the Scottrade Center.