The Redbirds improved to 2-0 after a win against Drexel Thursday night. (Photo By B Corbin/WJBC)
By WJBC Staff
PHILADELPHIA - Jackie Carmichael and Johnny Hill hit pressure-packed free throws with less than 30 seconds remaining in overtime, to lift Illinois State to an 86-84 win over Drexel in front of a sell-out crowd of 2,532 at Daskalakis Athletic Center.
The victory was the first on the road for new head coach Dan Muller and improved the Redbirds' record to 2-0 ahead of Sunday's 2:05 p.m. contest against Delaware State at Redbird Arena. The game is part of the South Padre Island Invitational. Redbird Preview starts at 1 p.m. on WJBC AM 1230 and FM 93.7.
Carmichael, who finished with a game-hign 21 points, made a pair of free throws with two seconds remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime.
In overtime, Drexel took a three-point lead before Tyler Brown drilled a 3-pointer to forge a 79-all deadlock with 2:30 to play. Brown then scored on a driving lay-up to give ISU an 81-79 lead.
On Drexel's next possession, the Dragon's turned the ball over and Hill scored a lay-up to put ISU on top 83-79. Drexel answered with a basket to cut the deficit to two with less than 30 seconds remaining.
On ISU's next possession, Carmichael was fouled while attempting a dunk. He made both free throws before Hill sealed the win with another charity shot to bring about the final.
Carmichael was aided in scoring by Brown's 20 points. Hill also tallied in double figures,with 13, while Jon Ekey added 10. Ekey topped ISU's rebounding effort with eight.
The game was tight throughout the first half before Drexel's Chris Fouch fueled a 10-2 run with back-to-back 3-point baskets that gave the Dragons a 43-35 advantage with under two minutes to play in the first half. ISU trailed at halftime, 43-37.
ISU took its first lead of the second half at 55-54, when Nick Zieslof hit a 3-pointer. The teams then traded baskets before Drexel went on a spurt for a 71-66 lead before the Redbirds rallied. Hill's three-point play pulled ISU within, 71-69 with five minutes left.
With under two minutes to play, Carmichael blocked a Dragon shot and scored a lay-up on the other end to tie the game, 73-73. But a Derrick Thomas shot put Drexel ahead, 75-73, with 7.5 seconds remaining, setting the stage for the Carmichael's game-tying free throws with two seconds left in overtime.
The loss dropped Drexel's record to 0-2 with both losses coming in overtime.