Senior Night Swagger Has Illinois State Firing on All Cylinders in First Half
Forward - Keith Pickens
Forward - Keith Pickens

Feb. 27, 2013

NORMAL, Ill. -- llinois State has 14 points from Tyler Brown and 12 from Johnny Hill while shooting 56 percent from the field to take a commanding 43-25 lead into the intermission here over Missouri State on senior night for the Redbirds.

MSU has out-rebounded the Redbirds, 18-15, but 6 Bears' turnovers have led directly to 12 Illinois State points.  ISU jumped out to a 16-7 lead in the first five minutes, 45 seconds.

The Redbirds are 5-for-10 (.500) from 3-point range after making all but one of their first six from beyond the arc. 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.

Brown is 5-for-8 from the field in the first half, and the Redbirds are 14-for-25 (.560) as a team. Illinois State has also taken advantage of its ample free throw opportunities, making 10-of-14 (.714) from the line while committing just 4 turnovers.

The Bears trimmed a 17-point deficit to 13 late in the half with a layup by 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.

Missouri State was 10-for-29 (.345) from the field, just 1-of-12 (.083) from beyond the arc and 4-of-6 (.667) at the line.

Pickens and Downing lead MSU's efforts with 7 points apiece. Both sat considerable time in the first half with foul trouble, including 3 by Downing. Pickens has 5 rebounds to match ISU's Jackie Carmichael for game-high at the break.



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