Jon Ekey led ISU with 16 points in the loss. (Photo By B Corbin/WJBC)
By WJBC Staff
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - A last second, potential game-winning three-point attempt by Nick Zeisloft rimmed out, and Indiana State held off Illinois State, 77-75, in the Missouri Valley Conference opener for both teams Sunday afternoon at the Hulman Center.
The Redbirds (9-4, 0-1 MVC) were led by Jackie Carmichael's double-double of 13 points and 14 rebounds. He also blocked two shots to tie former Redbird Greg Dilligard for the Illinois State career blocked shots record of 160. Zeke Upshaw matched a career high with nine points on three three-pointers for the Redbirds, while Justin Gant paced Indiana State (8-4, 1-0 MVC) with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Coach Dan Muller said the late comeback was killed by a poor rebounding effort for Illinois State.
"We're going to keep playing until the buzzer goes off no matter what the score is and we had an opportunity because of some free throws and some big plays by our guys but it wasn't enough. We lost, that's all that matters," he said.
Illinois State was outrebounded 46-36 in the contest and shot just 37 percent from the floor. ISU had averaged a 51 percent clip previously.
Conference play continues Wednesday when ISU hosts No. 16 Creighton.
"We'll have two good days of practice, we'll watch some film and hopefully learn from some mistakes and improve some things on the court but we'll be prepared. Our guys will be ready," Muller said.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Wednesday night. Redbird Preview starts at 6 p.m. on WJBC AM 1230 and FM 93.7.
Paul Morello contributed to this report.