Braves Ride Second-Half Run to I-74 Rivalry Win over Redbirds
Nick Zeisloft
Nick Zeisloft

Jan. 29, 2014

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PEORIA, Ill. - After Illinois State manufactured a 10-2 run to take a five-point second-half advantage, Bradley outscored the Redbirds, 21-3, to put the game out of reach, and the Braves topped ISU, 64-45, Wednesday night at Carver Arena.

Daishon Knight and Paris Lee both led Illinois State (11-10, 4-5 Missouri Valley Conference) offensively with eight points, while Bobby Hunter pulled down a career-best eight rebounds. Meanwhile, Bradley's (9-13, 4-5 MVC) Walt Lemon, Jr. led all scorers with 20 points after failing to score a first-half field goal.

After winning the tip-off, Reggie Lynch silenced the Bradley crowd of 8,403 on the game's opening possession with a thunderous dunk following a Nick Zeisloft assist. The Redbirds proceeded to outscore the Braves, 11-3, with six points by Lynch during the stretch. However, Bradley responded with a 10-0 run, and the Braves look their first lead, 13-11, on an Austin Barnes jumper at the 10:39 mark.

Zeisloft netted a three-pointer to regain a one-point Redbird advantage before a 7-2 run by the Braves established a 25-20 BU lead with 27 seconds remaining in the first half. Illinois State then pulled within 25-22 as Hunter grabbed an offensive rebound with two seconds left in the first half and scored at the buzzer. Lynch led ISU with six first-half points, while Hunter matched his career-rebounding high in the first half with six boards.

Lee tied the game with a three-pointer to start the second half, sparking a 10-2 run and establishing a 32-27 Redbird advantage. Bradley answered by outscoring ISU, 21-3, to take a 46-35 lead. Lemon, Jr. - who was held to no field goals until 9:36 remaining in regulation - netted nine points during the run. A Zeisloft three-pointer pulled the Redbirds within 59-45, but Bradley maintained its double-digit lead as the Braves held off ISU for the 64-45 victory.

Following its two-game road-swing, Illinois State returns to Normal, Ill., where the Redbirds will open a two-game home-stand beginning this Saturday, Feb. 1 at 3:05 p.m. against Drake. Saturday's Valley contest is being dubbed the Retro Game, with Redbird players wearing replica vintage uniforms. Tickets can be purchased by calling or visiting the Redbird Arena ticket office, or by buying them on GoRedbirds.com by clicking here.

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