Illinois State Upsets No. 15 Wichita State, 65-64
March 3, 2012
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Tyler Brown made two free throws with 6.4 seconds left and finished with 25 points as Illinois State upset No. 15 Wichita State 65-64 in the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament on Saturday.
Jackie Carmichael added 12 points and 11 rebounds for the fourth-seeded Redbirds (20-12), who rallied from 13 points down early in the second half. Illinois State, which lost at home to the Shockers by 13 points on Feb. 22, snapped a 24-game losing streak against ranked teams, dating to 1987. The Redbirds head into the tournament championship game on Sunday seeking their first NCAA tournament berth since 1998.
Joe Ragland had 17 points for Wichita State (27-5), which had won nine in a row and 17 of 18. Now they must wait to learn if they will receive an at-large bid and get into the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2006.
The Missouri Valley Conference has sent only one team to the tournament the past four years.
Ben Smith had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Toure' Murry had 15 points. Leading scorer Garrett Stutz, who averages 13.8 points, was in foul trouble throughout and was held to six points and five rebounds.
Wichita State got two chances to win it at the finish, with Murry missing from the key with about 3 seconds to go. Stutz misfired from the wing at the buzzer.
Illinois State had won just two of five before the tournament.
Neither team shot well, Illinois State finished at 33.9 percent, and Wichita State at 34.9 percent.
Brown, who totaled 21 points in the two regular-season meetings against Wichita State, missed his career high by a point. He has made 36 of 39 at the free throw line in the last 10 games. Carmichael has a pair of double-doubles in the tournament.
Stutz drew a personal foul and a technical with 11:59 left, giving him four fouls. Illinois State's John Wilkins was whistled for his second technical after jostling underneath the Wichita State basket.
Illinois State went 12:12 between baskets in the first half and shot just 29 percent, but stayed in range by going 12 for 14 at the line.
Murry had 10 points in the half, six in a 14-0 run that put Wichita State up by 10 with 6 1/2 minutes to go. The Shockers led by as many as 13 before Nic Moore made a 3-pointer with 2:42 to end Illinois State's drought.