Tyler Brown continued his resurgence Sunday with 22 points at Southern Illinois. (Photo By B Corbin/WJBC)
By WJBC Staff
CARBONDALE - Tyler Brown scored 18-first half points, including five three-pointers, to give Illinois State a 26-point halftime lead en route to a 70-56 Missouri Valley Conference win Sunday night at SIU Arena. Jackie Carmichael posted his 30th-career double-double and ninth of the season to lift the Redbirds (10-9, 1-6 MVC) past the Salukis (8-10, 1-6 MVC).
Illinois State's defense held the Salukis to their largest halftime deficit in SIU Arena history. The Redbirds shot 51.4 percent in the first half, and limited Southern Illinois to 33.3 percent. In the second half, the Salukis outscored ISU, 35-23, and pulled within 11 points at one point, but the Redbirds held off Southern Illinois for their first conference win of the season.
Brown, who finished with 22 points, and Carmichael, who had 18 points and 14 rebounds, were the only two Redbirds to reach double-figures. Bryant Allen and John Wilkins each added nine points. Southern Illinois' Jeff Early led the Salukis with 16 points and nine boards.
The Redbirds led for most of the first half, with the Salukis pulling within 13-11 at the 13:16 mark. Illinois State answered with a 16-4 run to pull ahead, 29-15 with 7:59 to play in the first half. ISU ended the opening period on an 18-6 scoring stretch to lead, 47-21, at the break.
Southern Illinois outscored the Redbirds, 23-8, to open the second half and pulled within 55-44, with 10:43 to play. However, a three-pointer by Kaza Keane stopped the Saluki scoring streak, and propelled a 12-6 Redbird run to rebuild a 17-point advantage. ISU held on for the 70-56 win.
Illinois State returns to Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena Wednesday for another Valley matchup against Indiana State. The Redbirds lost to the Sycamores in the MVC opener earlier this season. The rematch between Illinois State and Indiana State tips off at 7:05 p.m., with Wednesday night's game featuring the first-ever Redbird Social Media Night.