Brown Scores Valley Player of the Week Honor
Feb. 11, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - For the first time in his career, Illinois State senior guard Tyler Brown is the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week, as announced by the league office Monday. It is the fourth Valley Player of the Week honor awarded to an Illinois State player this season, after Jackie Carmichael received the award three times.
Brown averaged a team-best 26.0 points, 7.0 assists and 2.5 steals, plus 3.5 rebounds to lead Illinois State to two road wins at Drake (Feb. 6) and at No. 16 Creighton (Feb. 9). Brown was 17-for-36 (47.2 percent) from the field, 5-for-14 (35.7 percent) from beyond the arc and 13-for-15 (86.7 percent) at the free throw in the two victories. He was the scoring leader in both games, and the Owensboro, Ky., native has led the Redbirds to wins in six out of their last seven contests.
At No. 16 Creighton, Brown netted a game-high 27 points, including 23 in the second half. He shot 10-for-18 (55.6 percent) from the field and 4-for-5 (80.0 percent) from the free throw line. At the end of the first half, Brown hit two clutch free throws with 38.0 seconds remaining to cut Illinois State's halftime deficit to three points. In the second half, he scored 10-consecutive Redbird points to tie the game, 50-50, at the 15-minute mark. Johnny Hill netted a layup 26 seconds later to put ISU in front, 52-50, and Creighton never led again.
Later in the second half, with the Redbirds leading by two, Brown netted 13-consecutive ISU points to establish a five-point ISU advantage, 65-60, with 6:40 left. After Creighton trimmed Illinois State's lead to 65-64, Brown dished a key assist to Hill, who made a three-pointer to extend the Redbirds' advantage. Brown recorded another assist on a Hill jumper at the 1:22 mark to help the Redbirds build their largest lead of the game, 72-64, with 1:22 remaining. Brown's explosive second half led ISU to its first road win over a nationally ranked team since 1985.
Brown was also instrumental in Illinois State's come-from-behind victory at Drake. He netted a game-high 25 points, with a career-best nine assists, plus four steals and four rebounds. Brown was 7-for-18 (38.9 percent) from the field, and 9-for-10 (90.0 percent) from the free throw line, as he helped the Redbirds overcome their largest deficit in a win since 2004. It also marked Illinois State's first win in Des Moines, Iowa, since 2009.
With Drake leading by 12 points, Brown scored five unanswered points to pull ISU within 79-71 with 6:37 remaining. Illinois State took its first lead of the game when Brown dished to Jon Ekey, who buried a three-pointer to give ISU an 85-84 advantage at the 1:44 mark. The Redbirds never relinquished their lead, as Brown made two free throws with 34 seconds remaining to secure the win.
Brown is now averaging 16.4 points and 3.8 rebounds this season, and 15.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in Missouri Valley Conference play. During the last seven games, in which ISU has won six games, Brown has led the Redbirds with 19.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists. Brown is also the active-leader in three-point percentage (40.4 percent) and free throw percentage (77.7 percent), plus he ranks seventh on the career three-point percentage list and 12th on the career three-pointers made list (130).
While the MVC Player of the Week honor is the first of Brown's career, he was Valley Newcomer of the Week last year, on Jan. 23, 2012. Brown was also named one of 16 finalists Monday for the "State Farm Dark Horse Dunker" competition. Fans will determine the winner by voting during each round at the official Facebook page (facebook.com/CollegeSlam), or by clicking here.
Brown and the Redbirds will host rival Bradley this Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 7:05 p.m., followed by Wichita State on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are still available for both games by calling the Redbird Arena Ticket Office at (309) 438-8000.
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