Redbirds Rally; Post 72-69 Overtime Win Over Bears
Dec. 28, 2008
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - With the second-half play of Lloyd Phillips, Illinois State erased a 15-point deficit to post a 72-69 Missouri Valley Conference overtime victory over Missouri State in JQH Arena Sunday afternoon.
The Redbirds outscored the Bears, 17-14, in the extra period to overcome the momentum swing of Will Creekmore's made desperation three-point basket at the buzzer to force overtime. The victory kept the Redbirds perfect season alive as ISU improved to 12-0 on the season and 1-0 in the Valley. Missouri State fell to 7-5 on the year and 0-1 in league play.
The Redbirds trailed 34-24 at the half and Missouri State built its lead to 43-28 at the 15:31 mark, which is the largest deficit Illinois State has faced all season. The Redbirds picked up the defensive pressure and used a 22-2 run to retake the lead, 50-45, while the Bears were held scoreless for six minutes. The lead was the first for ISU since the 10:02 mark of the second half.
The Bears bounced back and reclaimed a 52-50 lead with 1:37 left in the game, but Phillips drove the court for an uncontested layup and followed with a three-point bucket at the top of the key with 31 seconds remaining for the 55-52 lead. Phillips finished the game with a team-high 16 points, including 10 in the second half. Missouri State forced an ISU turnover with 1.6 seconds remaining, setting up Creekmore's heroics on his bank-shot trey.
Brandon Sampay was the offensive hero for the Redbirds in the overtime period with six of his 14 points. ISU held a 61-60 lead with 3:18 left in overtime, before Osiris Eldridge forced a Missouri State turnover along the ISU baseline that resulted in a foul and a dunk with a traditional three-point play.
After a slow start, missing their first four field goal attempts, the Redbirds held a 13-9 lead with 11 minutes left in the first half. Missouri State used a 17-3 run, while ISU went seven minutes and 28 seconds without a field goal to build a 30-18 advantage. Eldridge buried back-to-back threes at the end of the half, and ISU trailed 34-24 at the intermission. Eldridge scored 13 points for ISU.
ISU's Champ Oguchi also added 14 points for the Redbirds, while Missouri State was led by Creekmore's 19 points.
Illinois State will host the first of two-straight home games Wednesday on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena. The Redbirds will host Evansville for a 2:05 p.m. start.