|Purple Aces trump Redbirds, 79-62|
|Written by Tawni Ricketts, Sports Editor|
|Thursday, 21 February 2013 00:08|
Despite entering Wednesday night’s contest in a tie for fifth place in the Missouri Valley Conference standings, the Evansville Purple Aces had the upper-hand against the Illinois State men’s basketball team throughout the whole fight, as the ’Birds fell to the MVC foe in a 79-62 decision at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind.
With the loss, the Redbirds fall to a 7-9 record in the MVC and a 16-12 record overall.
“It was not a good evening. We got beat in every aspect of the game — offensively, defensively, rebounding, ball care, physicality, getting to the foul line; we just got out-competed tonight,” ISU head coach Dan Muller told WJBC Radio. “I’m very disappointed … We were just two steps slow. It was almost everybody on the team at different times.”
Senior guard Tyler Brown was the only ’Bird to score in double-digit figures, tallying 21 points. John Wilkins followed up with nine points, while Bryant Allen and Jon Ekey recorded eight points apiece. Jackie Carmichael was limited to seven points in the game, but grabbed 14 boards.
“Tyler came out hot, made some big shots and kind of kept us there, but we really did not do any of it at all that we wanted to do coming into tonight,” Muller said.
However, in the face of defeat, light was shed when Carmichael recorded his 1500th career-point and 900th career-rebound during the contest, making him only the seventh player in MVC history to reach the feat.
Evansville limited ISU to 37.1 percent shooting from the field, compared to its 42.6 percent effort.
To open the game, the Aces went on a 7-2 run to take the 11-5 lead at the 15:53 mark of the first half. ISU responded and got within 15-10 on a Wilkins dunk at the 11:59 mark, but the Purple Aces extended their advantage to 11 points with 4:11 left in the half.
Heading into the locker room, Evansville fronted the Redbirds 42-33.
ISU opened the second half on the right foot with a two-handed ally-oop dunk from Johnny Hill, initiating a scoring sequence that would allow the ’Birds to pull within 47-41 on a 6-0 run, which included treys from Brown and Zeke Upshaw, but Evansville countered with a 13-2 run to blow its lead open to 60-43.
The Purple Aces would tack on 19 more points to secure the Evansville victory, helping them gain sole-posses
The Redbirds will continue their road series with a trip to Logan, Utah to take on Utah State in the Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters. Tip-off between the Redbirds and the Aggies is slated for 8 p.m. CST on Saturday.
“We want to use this game to get back on track,” Upshaw said. “We lost two in a row, so this is definitely a game that we want to go and play well and win so we can get back on track.”
ISU will return to Redbird Arena for its final home game, which marks Senior Night, on Wednesday for a contest against MVC foe Missouri State.