Late Surge Leads Redbirds To Exhibition Win Over Quincy
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Nov. 3, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - The first 32 minutes of Illinois State's exhibition game against Quincy Sunday afternoon featured 10 ties and eight lead changes, but the Redbirds used a 27-8 run over the final seven-plus minutes of the game to pull away with a 84-65 win over the Hawks in exhibition play on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena.
Sophomore newcomer Zach Lofton led all scorers with 19 points for ISU, including a 3-for-5 effort from three-point range, to lead four Redbirds in double figures. Junior transfer Bobby Hunter chipped in 17 points, Nick Zeisloft scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half, and freshman Paris Lee finished the game with 10 points to round out double-figure efforts for ISU.
Illinois State took an early 6-0 lead, with Hunter scoring four of those points, before Quincy answered with a pair of three-pointers by Scott Hahn to knot the game at 6-6. Zeisloft got the lead back for the Redbirds soon after with a three-pointer of his own to give ISU a 9-6 advantage at the first media timeout of the first half. The Redbirds maintained a single-digit lead at 14-11 and that lead grew to 16-11 after a basket by Tony Wills, but a Quincy three-pointer by Grant Meyer cut the deficit back to two points at 16-14 just seconds later. Quincy would eventually tie the game at 19-19, after a three-pointer by Nate Des Jardins with just over nine minutes left.
Five straight points from Lofton put the Redbirds back up by two at 24-22 and a fast break layup by Hunter extended the lead to 26-22 with four and a half minutes left in the first half. Quincy would fight back and take its first lead of the game at 27-26 a minute later, thanks to five-straight points from Chris Babbit. Kaza Keane answered with five-straight points of his own to get the lead back for the Redbirds and ISU ended the half with four-straight points from Lee to take a nine-point lead into the locker room at halftime at 36-27.
Quincy came out of the break scoring six-straight points on a pair of three-pointers by Austin Weber to cut the Redbird lead to three at 36-33. The two teams would stay close, until Quincy ripped off a 7-0 run, capped off on a three-pointer by Jordan Wilson, to take a 42-40 lead with 15:27 left in the game. The lead would short-lived, as Wills connected on a jumper seconds later to knot the game up at 42-42. A jumper by Lofton a minute later gave the Redbirds a two-point lead at 44-42, but a three-pointer from Weber gave the Hawks the lead back at 45-44.
A basket by Meyer then gave the Hawks their biggest lead of the game at 47-44, but five-straight points by John Jones and Lofton gave the Redbirds a 49-48 lead with 10:20 left in the game. Quincy continued its three-point barrage, as Des Jardins connected from beyond the arch to give the Hawks a 51-49 advantage 20 seconds later, before a pair of free throws by Lofton tied the game for the seventh time and made the score 51-51 with just under nine minutes left.
With the game tied at 57-57 with 7:38 left to play, the Redbirds went on a quick 6-0 run, after a jumper by Zeisloft and a pair of buckets from Jamaal Samuel, to take a 63-57 lead. The lead would grow to double digits for the first time in the game at 71-60, after Zeisloft nailed a pair of three-pointers, and a fast break layup by Lee widened the advantage to 13 points at 73-60 at the final media time out of the game. The Redbirds sprinted to the finish and out-scored the Hawks 11-5 over the final four minutes of play to come away with the exhibition win.
The Redbirds will open the regular season Friday, Nov. 8, on the road against nationally-ranked VCU. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on Comcast SportsNet Chicago Plus.
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