Knight Leads Redbirds Past I-74 Rival Bradley, 70-54
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Feb. 15, 2014
NORMAL, Ill. - Junior forward Daishon Knight scored a career-high 26-points on 8-for-12 shooting, including 5-for-7 from beyond the three-point arc, to lead Illinois State (14-12, 7-7 MVC) over rival Bradley (11-16, 6-8 MVC), 70-54, Saturday evening in front of 8,111 on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena.
The victory marked the seventh-consecutive for the Redbirds over the Braves at home and improved ISU's record at home to 10-3 on the season. ISU's seven-game home-winning streak against the Braves matches the Redbirds' longest home-court run in series-history. Illinois State shot 48.0 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from beyond the arc as the I-74 rivals once again split their regular-season series.
Daishon Knight scored ISU's first seven points on a pair of jumpers, followed by a three pointer. Paris Lee then slashed through the lane to net a layup, Jamaal Samuel scored a two-handed dunk and Bobby Hunter tallied a layup to pull ahead 13-2 at the 13:50 mark. Bradley responded with an 18-5 run - including seven points from Walt Lemon, Jr., - to take a 20-18 advantage with 6:02 remaining. Lee stopped the streak on a jumper in the lane to tie the game, 20-20.
The two teams exchanged baskets until Lee drained a three-pointer, which regained a one-point ISU lead. Lee then netted two free throws to push the Redbird advantage to 29-26 at the 1:16 mark. Another free throw by Knight with 33 seconds remaining secured a 30-27 halftime lead for ISU. Knight and Hunter both scored 10 first-half points, while Samuel earned a career-high eight rebounds in the opening stanza.
Knight buried back-to-back three pointers as Illinois State outscored Bradley, 8-5, to start the second half. After Bradley pulled within three points at 38-35, the Redbirds answered with a 9-3 run to take a 44-35 advantage on a Hunter three-pointer with 14:03 remaining. A Zach Lofton three-pointer gave ISU a 10-point lead, as the Redbirds went 4-for-5 from beyond the arc to start the second half. Lynch's put-back bucket widened Illinois State's advantage to 51-39 at the 11:18 mark.
Bradley used a 7-3 run to cut its deficit back to single-digits, 55-47, on a Tyshon Pickett jumper with 6:27 to play. However, ISU quickly extended its advantage, as Lee, Knight and Hunter hit consecutive three-pointers to build a 64-48 lead. After the Braves cut it to 64-51, Lynch stuffed an Xzavier Taylor dunk-attempt to haut the streak. Illinois State went on to outscore Bradley down the stretch to secure the victory.
Illinois State returns to action Tuesday night when the Redbirds host Missouri State on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena at 7:05 p.m.
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