Redbirds Drop Valley Opener at Indiana State
Zeke Upshaw tied a career high with nine points.

Zeke Upshaw tied a career high with nine points.

Dec. 30, 2012

Final Stats

Postgame Interview with Dan Muller Postgame Interview with Zeke Upshaw Play-by-Play Highlights

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - A last second, potential game-winning three-point attempt by Nick Zeisloft rimmed out, and Indiana State held off Illinois State, 77-75, in the Missouri Valley Conference opener for both teams Sunday afternoon at the Hulman Center.

The Redbirds (9-4, 0-1 MVC) were led by Jackie Carmichael's double-double of 13 points and 14 rebounds. He also blocked two shots to tie former Redbird Greg Dilligard for the Illinois State career-blocked shots record of 160. Zeke Upshaw matched a career high with nine points on three three-pointers for the Redbirds, while Justin Gant paced Indiana State (8-4, 1-0 MVC) with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

The first five minutes of Saturday's game were evenly matched, with the Redbirds leading, 9-8, after the first four minutes. Indiana State then went on a 7-0 run to take an 18-13 advantage, but Tyler Brown responded with two straight threes to pull the Redbirds within 22-19 with 9:12 remaining. A Zeisloft three tied the game, 27-27, at the 4:39 mark. However, the Sycamores ended the first half on a 9-0 run to lead, 36-27, at the intermission. Illinois State was held to 25.7 percent shooting from the field in the first half.

Indiana State built an 11-point lead, its largest of the game, at 47-36, five minutes into the second half. Later, with the Sycamores ahead, 58-48, Johnny Hill answered with seven-straight points, including a three, followed by a steal, a fast-break layup and two free throws to pull Illinois State within 60-55, with 8:08 left in the game.

The Sycamores responded with an 8-3 run to regain a 10-point advantage with five minutes remaining. They then extended their lead to 73-62, with 3:41 left on a layup by Devonte Brown. However, Illinois State's defense prevented Indiana State from netting another field goal, while the Redbirds outscored the Sycamores, 13-4, over the final 3:20. Upshaw hit back-to-back three pointers to pull Illinois State within 75-73 with 34 seconds remaining.

Manny Arop then made 1-of-2 free throws after being fouled at the 30-second mark. Bryant Allen netted a layup on the other end to pull the Redbirds within 76-75, with 18 seconds remaining. With time running out, Carmichael fouled Gant, who made his first free throw but missed his second, increasing Indiana State's advantage to 77-75, with seven seconds to play. Zeisloft had a good look at a deep three-pointer with three seconds remaining, but the shot rimmed out and Gant rebounded to preserve the Sycamores' victory. The Redbirds shot 51.9 percent in the second half.

With Illinois State's Valley opener in the books, the Redbirds return to Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena for their first MVC home game against No. 12 Creighton this Wednesday, Jan. 2 at 7:05 p.m. Remaining tickets can be purchased by calling the Redbird Arena Ticket Office at (309) 438-8000, by navigating to GoRedbirds.com or by visiting the Redbird Arena Ticket Office.

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