|Men's Basketball » News||News | Schedule | Statistics | Championship|
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Men's Basketball
Creighton, Illinois State Notch 20th Victories
The league's top three teams in the standings continued to separate themselves from the rest of the pack as UNI (81-55 over Southern Illinois), Creighton (79-65 over Bradley), and Illinois State (70-68 at Evansville) all won Wednesday night. Indiana State won its second-straight game, behind a 25-point night by Jay Tunnell. Osiris Eldridge's jumper with :01 left gave Illinois State the two-point win at Roberts Stadium.
Creighton, winners of five-straight games, notched its 20th-straight victory (20-6) and the Bluejays extended their league-record of 11-consecutive seasons with 20 or more victories. Illinois State also won its 20th game on Wednesday night (20-5). The Redbirds have won 20 games for the second-straight year. The league, meanwhile, has had four or more 20-game winners for five straight seasons (Northern Iowa is 18-7, while Drake and Evansville currently have 15 wins).
The trio of UNI (12-2), Creighton (10-4) and Illinois State (9-5) all have at least a three-game lead over Bradley and Evansville, both tied for fourth place with 7-7 league marks. Bradley and Evansville play for sole possession of fourth place Saturday in Peoria.
The Panthers (18-7, 12-2) had an 11-game winning streak snapped in their last outing, but they took control early against the Salukis (11-14, 6-8). UNI led 38-23 after shooting 50 percent in the first half and finished the night shooting 54 percent.
Eglseder was one of four Panthers in double figures. Kwadzo Ahelegbe had 13 points, Lucas O'Rear added 11 and Travis Brown 10. Ahelegbe was 7-for-7 from the free throw line and the Panthers made 20 of 24 attempts.
Tony Boyle led SIU with 20 points and seven rebounds. Boyle was 9-for-16 from the field, but the rest of the Salukis were a combined 11-for-40. Ryan Hare had 10 points for SIU.
In the first half, Illinois State went on a 32-3 run spanning over 11 minutes to pull out to its largest lead of the half at 39-13. The Redbirds shot a sizzling 18-30 from the field in the first half, including five for 10 from behind the arc.
Illinois State held the Aces to just eight for 22 from the field in the first half, while also forcing Evansville into seven turnovers. The Redbirds also dominated the glass over the first 20 minutes, finishing the half with a 20-9 advantage.
The Aces stormed back in the second half, going on a 22-5 run to pull within four points at 54-50 on a pair of Shy Ely free throws. Ely, the MVC’s leading scorer, totaled 16 of his game high 24 points in second half. Nate Garner tallied his fifth double-double of the season, tossing in 13 points and pulling down ten rebounds.
Illinois State finished with four players in double figures, led by Eldridge with 18. Emmanuel Holloway tossed in 12, while Dinma Odiakosa and Brandon Sampay both finished with 10 points. As a team, the Aces finished 25 for 48 from the field, for 52%, including 17-26 in the second half for 65%. Illinois State finished 28 for 55 from the field, for 51%.
Creighton led most of the first half, including a 23-13 lead with 9:53 to play, before Bradley scorched the nets to close the first half. The Braves made their final five three-point attempts of the first half, including a half-court buzzer beater from Sam Maniscalco that hit off the glass and rim before rolling in to give BU a 39-37 intermission lead. Maniscalco led BU with 13 first-half points, while CU's Booker Woodfox matched Maniscalco with 13 points of his own.
The second half featured four ties and nine lead changes, the last coming when Creighton went ahead 59-57 on two Kenny Lawson Jr. free throws with 8:29 to play. Bradley had just one field goal in the final 10:48, a lay-up by Taylor Brown with 1:06 remaining.
Woodfox led five Bluejays in double-figures with 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting. The nation's No. 2 three-pointer shooter also hit 4-of-6 from downtown to up his season average to 49.0 percent marksmanship from three-point range. Also in double-figures was P'Allen Stinnett (15), Kenton Walker (11), Justin Carter (10) and Lawson (10). CU point guard Josh Dotzler dished a season-high nine assists against just one turnover while also pushing his league-high steal total to 60. Creighton shot 54 percent for the game (27-50), 42.9 percent from three-point range (9-21) and 16-of-21 at the line (76.2 percent).
Bradley was led by 15 points and 11 rebounds from Theron Wilson. Maniscalco was held scoreless after intermission and finished with 13 points, while Chris Roberts added 11 off the pine. BU shot 41.7 percent for the game (20-48), including 42.9 percent from downtown (6-14) and 19-of-27 at the line (70.4 percent).
That outburst triggered a 17-6 run by Indiana State which turned a 47-46 deficit into a 63-53 advantage with 4:52 left. He finished the game making 10 of 11 shots from the floor, including five of six shots beyond the arc. Drake senior forward Jonathan Cox led Drake with 15 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Junior guard Josh Young added 13 points for Drake, which fell to 15-11, including a 6-8 league mark.
The Bulldogs shot just 25 percent in the second half, making only six of 24 shots. Drake finished the game, hitting 17 of 49 shots for 34.7 percent. Meanwhile, Indiana State scorched the nets firing at a 65 percent clip in the second half hitting 13 of 20 shots.
The Sycamores won back-to-back games for the first time this season, and Tunnell scored 20+ points in consecutive games for the first time in his career.
2008-09 MEN'S BASKETBALL