Carmichael Powers Redbirds To Win Over Oakland
Jon Ekey scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds in ISU's win over Oakland.
Jon Ekey scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds in ISU's win over Oakland.

Feb. 18, 2012

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NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State received 25 points and 19 rebounds from junior Jackie Carmichael, as the Redbirds (17-11) used a second-half comeback to defeat the Oakland Golden Grizzlies (15-14) by a final of 79-75 in the SEARS BracketBusters game Saturday afternoon on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena.

The Redbirds led for just four minutes and 19 seconds in the contest and came back to win just their third game of the season when trailing at the half. ISU also extended its home winning streak to six in a row and improved to 8-1 in initial games set up by the BracketBusters concept.

Carmichael just missed out on career highs with his 25 points and grabbed 19 rebounds, to record his tenth double-double of the season. Jon Ekey tied a season high with 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and John Wilkins scored 12 points finishing in double figures for the tenth time this season for the Redbirds. Oakland was led in scoring by Reggie Hamilton, who came into the game as the nation's leading scorer and poured in 34 points against ISU to lead all scorers.

The Redbirds jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead, after Tyler Brown connected from the three point range just two minutes into the game, until the Grizzlies went on a 15-1 run to take the lead 17-7 at the 13:39 mark. Oakland extended its lead back out to 10 points at 20-10 after a three pointer by Travis Bader at the 12:11 mark.

ISU later used an 8-3 run to cut the OU lead to 29-22, after a pair of free throws by Carmichael at the 5:23 mark. Ekey hit his second three-pointer of the first half to cap off a 7-3 run, which cut the Oakland lead to 32-25 with 4:18 left on the clock. The Golden Grizzlies maintained at least a six-point lead for the remainder of the half and took a 43-34 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Wilkins connected with two three-pointers in the first two minutes of the second half and ISU cut the lead to six points at the first media timeout of the second half, when Brown made a jumper to make the score 50-54. The Redbirds continued to gain momentum with a quick 7-0 run, after five points from Carmichael and a dunk by Ekey with 13:03 left in the game. Bryant Allen gave the Redbirds their first lead since the 17:21 mark of the first half, when he hit his jumper in the lane at the 10:42 mark to make the score 55-54.

The Golden Grizzlies went on a 6-0 run immediately after to take a 60-55 lead, after a three pointer by Drew Valentine at the 9:34 mark. ISU eventually regained the lead at the 2:59 mark, when Ekey hit his third three-pointer of the game to make the score 72-70 in favor of the Redbirds. The Illinois State lead was short-lived once again, after Hamilton hit his sixth three-pointer of the game to give Oakland the lead back at 73-72 with 2:29 left in the game.

The Redbirds rallied back, thanks to free throw shots from Carmichael, to regain the lead at 75-73 with 1:04 remaining. After Oakland tied the game at 75-75 with 46 seconds left after a goaltending call on Wilkins, Carmichael gave the Redbirds the go-ahead basket on a layup with 17 seconds left to make the score 77-75. Carmichael ended the game with a pair of free throws to make the final score 79-75.

The Redbirds will host league leader and nationally-ranked Wichita State Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 7:05 p.m. in the regular-season home finale.

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