Redbirds Win Third-Straight, Drop Delaware State, 87-48
Nick Zeisloft

Nick Zeisloft

Nov. 18, 2012

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NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State men's basketball team won its third-straight contest, beating the Delaware State Hornets 87-48, tallying their third-straight 80-plus performance in the point column, a feat that hasn't been done since the 1977-78 season when the Redbirds opened up 4-0, scoring 90 or more points in all four of those contests. That was also the largest margin of victory since 2009 when ISU beat SEMO by 40 points.

Each Redbird contributed to the point total, as every player in an Illinois State uniform recorded at least one made basket, with Jon Ekey (11), Tyler Brown (14) and Nick Zeisloft (11) recording double-digit figures. Jackie Carmichael, Geoffrey Allen and Ekey, led the way on the glass, pulling down four rebounds a piece. Carmichael, Ekey and John Wilkins added two blocked-shots apiece, as part of the defensive effort.

As a team, Illinois State shot 54 percent for the field (35-of-64) and 39 percent (9-of-23) from behind the three-point line. The charity stripe proved to be detrimental to the Redbirds, as they shot just 57 percent (8-of-14). Defensively, ISU held the Hornets to shooting just 34 percent from the field (19-of-56) and 13 percent from beyond the arc (2-of-15). The Redbirds also out-rebounded Delaware State by 14 (42-28).

The Hornets got the ball rolling, scoring the first four points of the game, thanks to back-to-back layups by Marques Oliver and Amere May. Illinois State scored the next five points, thanks to a dunk and two made free throws by Brown, to take its first lead of the game, 5-4. The Redbirds extended that lead to four (13-9) with help from back-to-back dunks by Carmichael with 11:53 remaining in the first half.

An Illinois State layup by Kaza Keane at the 7:18 mark in the first half, gave the Redbirds a six-point advantage (22-16), heading into a media timeout. ISU continued to add to its scoring total, going on a 29-6 run to close out the last seven minutes of play in the half. Brown contributed five points to the run, including a one-handed alley-oop from Johnny Hill at the 2:34 mark. Zeisloft closed the half with back-to-back treys, giving the Redbirds a 27-point advantage heading into the locker room.

Brown led the offensive attack, scoring nine points. Carmichael added eight of his own, while Ekey and Zeisloft each contributed six to the points column. The Redbirds dominated the defensive side of the ball, holding the Hornets to just nine made field goals in the half (9-of-32) for a shooting percentage of 28 percent. ISU also attacked the glass, pulling in 23 rebounds, seven of which were on the offensive side. ISU shot 56 percent from the field (18-of-32) and 45 percent from beyond the arc (5-of-11).

The Redbirds opened the second half with the same momentum they took into the locker room, thanks to a 10-3 run sparked by a three-ball from Brown just 40 seconds into the half before contributed another dunk to end the run with a 59-27 advantage in favor of ISU. Zeisloft added another trey, giving Illinois State a 33-point lead. Delaware State manage to cut that lead down to 29, before a layup by Anthony Cousin sparked another run the Hornets couldn't counter. Illinois State closed the game on a 9-2 run, claiming its third-straight victory.

The Redbirds return to action, Tuesday, Nov. 20, as they play host to Farleigh Dickinson. Tip-off is slated for 7:05 p.m.

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