Bryant Allen finished with 13 points for Illinois State. (Photo By B Corbin/WJBC)
By WJBC Staff
NORMAL – The Dan Muller era of Illinois State basketball got off to a good start Monday night as Illinois State cruised to a 93-64 victory over in-state foe Quincy in exhibition action at Redbird Arena before 4,463 people.
Junior Jon Ekey led four Redbirds in double figures with 16 points, including a 4-for-4 effort from behind the arch. Senior Jackie Carmichael added a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Tyler Brown and Bryant Allen each added 13 points. Freshman point guard Kaza Keane also had a solid debut with six points, seven rebounds and four assists.
ISU jumped to an early 5-2 lead, but five-straight points from Quincy capped off by a 3-pointer by Chris Babbitt gave the Hawks a 7-5 lead with at the 16:54 mark. The lead was short-lived as the Redbirds went on a 14-0 run to take a 19-7 lead with just under 13 minutes left in the first half. That lead would eventually grow to 19 at 31-12 with 8:01 left after Keane scored on a fastbreak layup.
Quincy steadily chipped away at the Redbird lead and cut it to nine points, 36-27, following a 3-pointer by Dalton Hoover before a fastbreak dunk by Carmichael gave the Redbirds a 38-27 halftime lead.
Illinois State came out of the locker room in the second half on an 11-4 run, kick started on a lay-up by Keane, a jumper from Brown, a 3-pointer by Ekey and a lay-up by Carmichael. ISU would extend its lead to 63-42 after a tip in by Ekey with 11:22 left on the clock to give the Redbirds their largest lead. Ekey kept his hot shooting going with his fourth 3-pointer to extend the ISU lead to 66-43 with just under 10 minutes left.
The Redbirds kept the momentum going with an 8-2 run and worked the lead back to 23 at 83-60 after a 3-pointer in transition from Brown. A 3-pointer by John Wilkins and a pair of lay-ups from Jordan Threloff widened the lead to 90-62 with just over a minute remaining.
The Redbirds open the regular season Monday against UC Santa Barbara at 7:05 p.m. at Redbird Arena. Listen to the game on WJBC AM 1230 and FM 93.7.
Listen to the postgame interview with coach Dan Muller, sophomore point guard Johnny Hill and play-by-play highlights on the podcast page.