TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Indiana State has advanced to the semifinals of the State Farm MVC Tournament for the first time since time since the 2001 season as redshirt freshman Jake Odum beat the buzzer to down Evansville by the score of 52-50 on Friday night (March 4) in front of 9,318 fans at the Scottrade Center.
ISU won for the third consecutive game and improved to 18-13 on the season while Evansville fell to 15-15. The Sycamores will play No. 2 Wichita State in the semifinals tomorrow at 5:05 p.m. (ET).
With the game tied at 50 and following an Evansville turnover, the Sycamores called a timeout to draw up a final play with the chance to win the contest in regulation. Odum took the inbounds pass, dribbled into the paint and launched up a running jumper which fell with 0.5 seconds remaining on the clock. A final inbounds pass by the Purple Aces fell harmlessly to the ground as the Sycamores earned the 52-50 victory.
Odum paced the Sycamores with 13 points, going 3-of-7 from the field and was 7-of-10 at the free throw line. He dished out five assists as well. Also in double figures was Aaron Carter who hit a pair of three pointers to score 10 points.
The Sycamores hit just 16-of-46 shots from the field, for a 34.8 percent mark. Indiana State's defense held the Aces to just 39.6 percent shooting. The Sycamores forced 18 Evansville turnovers, turning them into 15 points.
Evansville scored each of the game's first seven points as they raced out to a 7-0 advantage before Dwayne Lathan got the Sycamores going with a bucket off of a steal with 16:56 left in the first half to make it 7-2. Lathan went on to make it 9-5 in favor of Evansville on a conventional 3-point play just over a minute later.
The Purple Aces ran their lead up to 13-5, but Carter drilled his first trey at the 10:30 mark to make it 13-8 after Lathan scored the Sycamores' first five points of the game. An Isiah Martin dunk continued a 5-0 run to make it 13-10 in favor of Evansville with 9:46 left in the opening stanza.
Evansville used a 7-2 spurt over the next four minutes to take a 20-12 advantage until Odum hit a driving lay-up with 3:30 left to make it 20-14. The Sycamore scoring continued as reserve Lucas Eitel connected on a trey to make it 20-17 on the next possession. Evansville broke the Sycamore momentum with a 4-0 run for the 24-17 lead.
Odum two free throws with 10 seconds to go before the half to make it 24-19. Evansville missed a last second shot before halftime as the Purple Aces took that 24-19 cushion into the locker room.
An Odum leaner with 17:40 to go tied the game at 25 and then a RJ Mahruin lay-up with 13:10 to go gave the Sycamores its first lead of the game at 34-33, and then was stretched to 35-33 on an Odum free throw. Evansville scored four in row to temporarily take a 37-35 advantage and then Printy hit a 3-pointer with just over nine minutes remaining for a 38-37 advantage.
The Sycamores took a 46-42 lead with 4:30 left to go on a pair of Jake Odum free throws. Colt Ryan hit a free throw and then Denver Holmes buried a 3-pointer with 3:30 remaining to tie the game at 46.
Ned Cox hit a runner with 1:30 to go in the game for a 50-47, but a conventional 3-point play for Walker with 1:14 on the clock tied the contest at 50.
Evansville was led in scoring by 14 points from Colt Ryan.
The Sycamores versus Shockers begins at 5:05 p.m. (ET) inside Scottrade Center as the second semifinal contest of Arch Madness. Missouri State and Creighton will meet up in the first semifinal.