Redbirds Cruise Past Cougars in Season Opener, 92-64
Blake Misher
Blake Misher

Nov. 14, 2010

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NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State men's basketball team defeated SIU-Edwardsville, 92-64, in its season opener Sunday on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena. Four Redbirds scored in double figures and a total of ten players scored points in the balanced scoring effort in front of 4,235 fans.

The 92 points scored by the Redbirds were the most since 1997, when they defeated Oakland by a score of 101-66. ISU forwards Jackie Carmichael and Blake Mishler each scored 18 points, while Trey Blue added 14 and Tony Lewis added 10 to balance out the scoring for the Redbirds. Mishler's 18 points surpassed his previous career high for points in a game, which he set while playing for East Tennessee State in 2006. Carmichael came up just short of tying his career high of 20, set last season at Evansville.

ISU came out firing on all cylinders, taking a 14-2 lead behind Carmichael's nine points on 4-of-4 shooting, all before the first media timeout. The Cougars responded with a 10-4 run, all points coming courtesy of junior guard Corey Wickware, to narrow the ISU lead to 18-12 with 11:30 remaining in the first half.

ISU extended its lead back to nine points at 28-19 at the 7:47, but SIUE's Anthony Mitchell and Wickware responded with buckets to cut the Redbird lead to five. The Redbirds worked their way back up to a 10-point lead, after a Blue free throw with 4:01 left in the first, but Wickware answered back with another three-pointer to bring the score to 35-28.

An 11-2 run by the Redbirds gave ISU its biggest lead of the game at 46-30, after a pair of Lewis free throws with 1:22 remaining in the first half. As the Cougars and Redbirds headed into the locker room at halftime, ISU held a 46-33 advantage. Wickware carried the Cougars in the first half, connecting on 6-of-9 field goals and 4-of-7 three-pointers. His 20 first-half points set a new career high for points in a game for the junior, surpassing his previous high of nine set last season against IPFW.

ISU put the Cougars away early in the second half, extending its lead to 65-45 after a Carmichael jumper at the 10:57 mark. A layup by Mishler at the 4:29 gave the Redbirds a 85-55 lead and the lead would eventually grow to 33 points at 88-55 after a pair of free throws by Blue. SIUE did not get closer than 28 for the remainder of the game and the Redbird picked up their four-straight win in a season opener under the leadership of head coach Tim Jankovich.

The Redbirds will take the court again on Wednesday, Nov. 17, against Tennessee State. The game is scheduled to start at 7:05 at Redbird Arena in Normal, Ill.

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