Downing scores 12, while Kirk and Marshall add 8 points apiece for Bears in humbling road defeat
Feb. 27, 2013
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NORMAL, Ill. -- The team picked to finished second in the Missouri Valley Conference played like a squad competing for a league title in the final week of the season as Illinois State (17-13, 8-9 MVC) rolled to an 86-50 win over visiting Missouri State here Wednesday.
Tyler Brown scored a game-high 25 points, Jackie Carmichael added 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Johnny Hill scored 15 for ISU, which shot 59.2 percent from the field.
The Bears (9-21, 6-11) got 12 points from Anthony Downing and matched the Redbirds on the board, 32-32, but a 30-6 run over 10-minute period in the second half sealed MSU's fate.
After Downing's free throw with 16:54 to go made it a 46-34 contest, Illinois State reeled off the next 13 points before a layup by Nathan Scheer more than five minutes after Downing's shot ended the spurt. The Redbirds retaliated with a 17-4 run from there to lead 76-40 with just 6:43 to go.
With the game well in hand, ISU continued to pad its lead after a pair of treys from John Wilkins. It wasn't until MSU head coach Paul Lusk called a timeout with 2:39 to play that Illinois State pulled its starters after the lead climbed to as many as 39.
The Bears added a layup by Gavin Thurman and a 3-pointer by Ryan Carmichael in the final three minutes to reach the 50-point plateau. But the club's worst defeat of the season was decided much earlier in the contest.
ISU shot 56 percent from the field in the first half and took a 43-25 lead into the intermission. Six Bears' turnovers led directly to 12 Illinois State points, and ISU jumped out to a 16-7 lead in the first five minutes, 45 seconds.
Back-to-back treys by Hill and Brown midway through the opening period pushed the home club up 29-13. The Brown 3-pointer came after he recorded a steal and layup, then snagged the ensuing in-bound pass beyond the circle and jacked up a long-range bomb.
The Bears trimmed a 17-point deficit to 13 late in the half with a layup by Keith Pickens and single free throws by Pickens and Downing to make it 36-23 at the 3:38 mark. But aside from a 20-foot jumper by Michael Simpson, the Bears did not score the rest of the half, while ISU padded its lead with 7 points down the stretch.
Pickens and Downing led the Bears with 5 rebounds apiece, while Drew Wilson tallied a team-high 3 assists. Marcus Marshall and Christian Kirk pitched in 8 points apiece.
The Bears finished 21-for-56 (.375) from the field, 3-for-22 (.136) from long range and just 5-of-12 (.417) in limited free throw opportunities. The Bears committed 13 turnovers with ISU snagging 10 steals.
Illinois State was 29-for-49 from the field, 10-of-20 (.500) from beyond the arc and 18-for-24 (.750) at the line with 11 turnovers.
The Bears now return to Springfield on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. for a Senior Night matchup with Bradley (16-14, 7-10). Upper-level tickets are just $2 by calling (417) 836-7678 or stopping by the Chevy Pickup Window at JQH Arena during regular box-office hours.