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Courtesy: ISU Athletics
Sycamores Narrowly Fall At Illinois State
Courtesy:ISU Athletics
Ace Hunt



NORMAL, Ill. -- A last second 3-pointer from junior Jake Odum glanced off the back of the rim as time expired as Indiana State narrowly fell 60-58 to Illinois State inside Redbird Arena in front of 5,519 fans.


ISU fell to 12-7, 5-3 MVC while the Redbirds improved to 11-9, 2-6 MVC.


Manny Arop was the lone Sycamore to reach double figures scoring as he scored 13 points. RH Mahurin added nine points and a team-best eight rebounds.


ISU hit 38.3 percent of their shots from the field, including five 3-pointers. The Sycamore defense limited the Redbirds to 37.5 percent shooting, including a mark fo 0-of-13 from 3-point range. It marked the second time this season that the Sycamores have not allowed a 3-pointer in a game with other other coming in the form of an 0-for-15 outing from the Miami Hurricanes on Christmas Day.


The Sycamores owned a 44-38 edge in rebounding, while both teams had 13 second chance points. Points in the paint were even as well with each team scoring 30 points inside. Indiana State's bench contributed 17 points while holding Illinois State to just four.


For the sixth time in eight MVC contests, the Sycamores saw their first points of the game come from Justin Gant, who hit a short jumper at the 17:47 mark to knot the contest at two.


Lucas Eitel hit his first 3-pointer of the game with 12:10 left in the opening stanza to stake the Sycamores to their first lead of the game at 13-12. Illinois State went on an 8-0 run to take a 20-13 advantage, but Manny Arop scored six points in a row for ISU to cut the lead down to 22-19 with 7:48 on the clock.


After the Redbirds answered with three in a row to take a 25-19 lead, Dawon Cummings drilled a 3-pointer to make it 25-22 and Mahurin had a lay-up to make it a one-point game.


Khristian Smith was credited with a tip-in after Illinois State knocked the ball into the Sycamore basket with 54 seconds left to trim the Redbird lead down to 27-26, but Anthony Cousin hit a jumper at the halftime buzzer to give the Redbirds a 29-26 lead at the break.


The Redbirds drew first blood in the second half on a Bryant Allen tip-in, but Mahurin returned the favor on the next trip to get within three points at 31-28. Gant hit a jumper at the 18:01 mark to once again draw the Sycamores within a point.


Cummings struck again from long range at the 15:17 mark to knot the game at 33.


With the Redbirds leading 40-35, Arop hit a jumper with 12:05 to go to draw ISU within 40-37 and Mahurin hit a pair of free throws to get ISU within a point yet again. This time the Sycamores got the stop and Arop scored again to give ISU a 41-40 lead.


Devonte Brown's two free throws with 7:32 remaining gave ISU a 45-44 lead in the back and forth affair until Arop connected on a trifectia with 4:45 left to stake the Sycamores to a 51-49 lead.


Illinois State took a 58-53 lead with a free throws from John Wilkins with 30 seconds left, by Mahurin hit 1-of-2 free throws to close within 58-54.


After Tyler Brown missed a pair of free throws with 16 seconds on the clock, Odum hit a lay-up with 10 seconds left to narrow the gap to 58-56.


Johnny Hill hit 1-of-2 free throws with nine seconds left to stretch the Illinois State lead out to 59-56. The Redbirds elected to foul with six second left and Odum hit both free throws to close to within 59-58.


Then with five seconds left, Jackie Carmichael hit 1-of-2 free throws to restore a two-point Illinois State advantage and Odum took an outlet pass down the court and launched a 3-pointer that glanced off the back of the rim as the horn sounded to give Illinois State a 60-58 victory.


Two Redbirds reached double figures scoring as Johnny Hill scored 18 to pace Illinois State.


Indiana State returns to action on Saturday, January 26 when they host Northern Iowa looking for their first MVC season series sweep of the season. Tip-off is slated for 1:05 p.m. (ET).


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