Redbirds Top Panthers In Quarterfinal, Face Wichita State Saturday
Jackie Carmichael
Jackie Carmichael

March 9, 2013

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ST. LOUIS - Tyler Brown netted a game-high 28 points, tying an Illinois State, Missouri Valley Conference Tournament-record six three-pointers, and the No. 6 Redbirds (18-14) topped No. 3 Northern Iowa, 73-65, Friday night at the Scottrade Center. The Redbirds advance to Saturday's semifinal round, where for the second-consecutive year, Illinois State will face No. 2 Wichita State.

Jackie Carmichael contributed 15 points, with a game-best 10 rebounds, for his 15th double-double of the season, and the 35th of his career. He also blocked five shots, which tied ISU's Valley Tournament single-game record. Three of his blocks came in the final two minutes. Johnny Hill and John Wilkins were both in double-figures, with 11 points each. Northern Iowa also featured four players in double-figures, with a 16-point effort by Marc Sonnen leading the way.

The Redbirds shot 45.8 percent from the field, compared to 41.1 percent, and ISU out-rebounded Northern Iowa, 37-32. ISU forced 14 Panther turnovers, contrasted with 11.

Illinois State outscored Northern Iowa, 16-3 over the first four minutes to take the early lead. The Redbirds later pulled ahead by their largest margin, 26-11, on a Brown three-pointer. However, the Panthers responded with a 16-2 run over the next 5:03 to pull within 28-27

A layup by Jon Ekey increased ISU's lead to three, but Matt Bohannon netted a three-pointer to tie the game, 30-30, with 3:26 remaining in the first half. Anthony James then gave the Panthers their first lead of the game on a runner. Sonnen netted a three with under a minute left, to put UNI ahead, 35-34, at halftime.

The Panthers stretched their lead on two free throws by Jake Koch to start the second half; however, Wilkins answered with a jumper and Carmichael later regained ISU's lead with a layup, to put the Redbirds up, 40-39. After both teams exchanged baskets, the Redbirds went on a 6-0 run to take a 60-50 lead at the 7:03 mark with a Carmichael dunk, followed by a block by Carmichael and a fast-break layup by Brown.

However, Northern Iowa responded with a 10-2 stretch over the next 2:51, to pull back within 62-60, with 3:53 remaining. But the Redbirds went on an 8-0 run, to take a take a 70-60 advantage, and ISU hit seven of its eight final free throws to secure the quarterfinal victory.

The Redbirds have now beaten every team in the Valley this season, except Wichita State. The Redbirds will have their chance Saturday, when ISU and the Shockers meet in the second semifinal matchup of the day, with tipoff slated for 4:05 p.m.

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