ISU Offense Struggles As Redbirds Fall To UNI, 70-60
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Jan. 5, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State offense came into Saturday's game against Northern Iowa leading the Missouri Valley Conference scoring nearly 80 points per game, but the Redbirds (9-6, 0-3 MVC) struggled on offense and were held to their lowest scoring output of the season by the Panthers (8-7, 1-2 MVC) in a 70-60 loss on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena.
ISU was held to under 70 points scoring for just the third time this season and shot 45.8 percent from the field. Jackie Carmichael led the Redbirds with his fifth double-double of the season, as he scored 19 points and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds. Tyler Brown finished with 12 points, but failed to make a three-pointer with a 0-for-6 effort from three-point range. Johnny Hill was the only other Redbird in double figures with 10 points.
After the Panthers took a 7-3 lead, the Redbirds answered back with a 6-0 run over a two-minute stretch to take their first lead of the game at 9-7, after a fast-break layup by Brown off of a steal with 12:17 left in the first half. That lead, which was ISU's only of the game, was short-lived as UNI came right back with an 11-0 run, which was capped off by a three-pointer from Anthony James to make the score 18-9 with 8:53 left on the clock in the first half. The Redbirds snapped the scoring drought that lasted 3:40 seconds, when Carmichael connected on a jumper to cut the UNI lead to 18-11 seconds later.
That lead would grow to as many as 11 points at 22-11, after a jumper by Seth Tuttle at the 6:53 mark, before Carmichael answered with a layup to cut the lead back to 22-13 soon after. The Panthers came right back and widened the lead to 12 points at 25-13, when James nailed his third three-pointer of the first half.
The Panthers maintained an 11-point lead at 29-18 before back-to-back layups by Carmichael and Zeke Upshaw cut the lead to 29-22, forcing UNI head coach Ben Jacobson to call a timeout. After a defensive stop, Carmichael threw down a dunk on an assist from Kaza Keane to send the Redbirds into the locker room on a 6-0 run headed into halftime. The 24 points scored by ISU in the first half were a season low, two points shy of the 26 points it scored against Northwestern on Nov. 24 at the South Padre Island Invitational.
The Redbirds came out of the second half fired up, and went on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to one at 31-30. Carmichael threw down a dunk and Keane connected on a floating jumper in the lane to force a UNI timeout. Carmichael then connected on a jumper at the 17:41 mark, before Marc Sonnen hit a jumper of his own to stop the ISU run and extend the lead back to 33-30. James then hit his fourth three-pointer of the game to widen the lead further to 36-30, before Carmichael answered with a fast-break dunk to cut the lead back to four with just under 16 minutes left in the game.
UNI maintained a single-digit lead over the next 12 minutes of the half and led by as many as nine points at 55-46 after a three-pointer by Sonnen, but the Redbirds answered back with a 6-0 run over a two and a half minute span to cut the lead to 55-52. A pair of baskets by Hill and a jumper in the lane by Brown ignited the run and got ISU back in the game with three minutes left to play.
However,that would be as close as the Redbirds would get as the Panthers controlled the clock and came away with the 70-60 victory. The Redbirds will return to action Tuesday, Jan. 8, when they travel to Springfield, Mo., to take on Missouri State, with tipoff is set for 7:05 p.m. at JQH Arena.
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