Second Half Rally Lifts Redbirds Over Bulldogs 71-68
Feb. 6, 2010
NORMAL, Ill. - Seniors Dinma Odiakosa and Lloyd Phillips combined for 25 second-half points to lead Illinois State to a 71-68 come-from-behind victory over Drake Saturday on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena in front of 8,291 fans.
Phillips scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half to lead a trio of Redbirds (16-8, 7-6 MVC) in the win over the Bulldogs (11-14, 6-7). Phillips finished the game 7-for-10 from the field, including a 3-for-4 effort from long range, and Odiakosa finished scored 11 points to finish in double figures for the sixth-straight game. Osiris Eldridge rounded out the group with 15 points and a season-high nine rebounds. Drake's Josh Young led all scorers with 22 points and became the school's all-time leading scorer in the defeat.
The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and later extended that lead to double digits at 17-7, thanks to a 9-1 run capped off by a jumper by Ryan Wedel with 12:16 remaining in the first half. The Bulldogs retained a two-possession lead until Eldridge drained a long three-pointer to cut the Drake lead to just four points with just over seven minutes remaining in the half. After a basket by the Bulldogs, Austin Hill hit a transition three-pointer to cut the lead to just three points at 24-21, before Josh Young answered with a three of his own to extend the lead back to six points at 27-21. Hill came right back and converted on a layup, but could not convert the traditional three-point play, to keep the score at 27-23. That four-point deficit would be as close as the Redbirds would get the rest of the half, as the Bulldogs clawed their way to a 35-30 halftime lead.
The Redbirds came out of the break on an 8-3 run and tied the game at 38-38 on a free throw by Jackie Carmichael, but Young and Ben Simons hit back-to-back jumpers on Drake's next two possessions to put the Bulldogs back up 42-38. Phillips then cut the lead to 42-41 on his second three-point basket of the game. A free throw by Young then made the score 43-41, but a jumper by Hill and layup by Eldridge gave the Redbirds their first lead of the game at 45-43 with 11:05 left in the game.
ISU's lead would be short-lived, as a three-pointer by Drake's Aaron Hawley put gave the Bulldogs the lead back at 46-45. The Redbirds then took the lead back after a free throw by Carmichael and a layup by Odiakosa, before Drake tied the game at 48-48. Odiakosa then hit a pair of free throws to give the Redbirds a 50-48 lead, but Young answered right back with a jumper to knot it at 50-50.
The rollercoaster ride continued as Phillips converted a layup to put the Redbirds back up 52-50 with 8:13 remaining in the game, before a pair of free throws by Young tied the game for the sixth time at 52-52. ISU came right back with a 5-0 run, thanks to a three-pointer by Alex Rubin and a layup by Phillips to make the score 57-52 with just under six minutes left on the clock.
Illinois State maintained its lead until the 1:27 mark, when Templeton nailed a three-pointer to tie the score at 64-64, and after a free throw by Odiakosa, Young nailed a three-pointer from the top of the key to give the Bulldogs a 67-65 lead with under a minute to play. However, Phillips would answer on the other end of the floor with his third three-point basket of the game to put the Redbirds back up 68-67 and force Drake head coach Mark Phelps to call a timeout with 23 seconds left to play.
Drake had a shot to take the lead, but a jumper by Young missed and Eldridge was fouled to send him to the free throw line. He missed the first of two shots, but hit the second to put the Redbirds up 69-67 with 11 seconds left. Young then brought the ball up for the Bulldogs and was fouled with 1.1 seconds left on the clock to send him to the line with a chance to tie the game.
Young hit the first free throw, but missed the second and Eldridge grabbed the rebound with 0.5 seconds left on the clock. The Redbird senior hit both of his free throws and a last-second heave by Wedel fell short to give ISU a thrilling come-from-behind win over the Bulldogs.
The Redbirds return to action and will wrap up their regular-season series with Bradley on Tuesday, Feb. 9, in Peoria, Ill. Tipoff is set for 7:05 p.m. at Carver Arena, with the Redbirds looking for the season sweep against the Braves.