Illinois State Falls to Oakland
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Dec. 16, 2013
ROCHESTER, Mich. - Despite Illinois State leading by as many as 12 points in the first half, Oakland came from behind to beat the Redbirds, 90-75, Monday night at the Athletics Center O'rena.
Daishon Knight and Paris Lee scored 14 points apiece to lead ISU (5-5), while Travis Bader led the Golden Grizzlies (3-9) with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Illinois State was held to 37.9 percent from the field, despite hanging close through the first half. By contrast, Oakland - in the midst of playing the toughest non-conference schedule in the country according to USA Today - made 31-of-56 field goals for 55.4 percent.
The Golden Grizzlies also enjoyed a 44-29 rebounding edge while outscoring ISU, 42-16, in the paint. For the second time this season, five Redbirds reached double figures, with Tony Wills (12), Nick Zeisloft (11) and Bobby Hunter joining Knight and Lee. Wills earned career-highs in scoring, field goals (4), rebounding (6) and assists (4).
After netting the game's first five points, Illinois State jumped out to an 18-6 lead with 15:06 left in the first half following a 13-0 run which was sparked by a Zeisloft three-pointer and capped-off by a pair of Hunter free throws. The Redbirds maintained their advantage until the 3:53 mark, when Corey Petros netted a layup to lift Oakland in front, 33-31.
A layup by Zach Lofton tied the game again with 52 seconds remaining in the half; however, Kahlil Felder tipped in a basket with less than one second left to secure a 40-38 halftime lead for Oakland. The Golden Grizzlies started the second half on a 12-0 run to establish a double-digit advantage. Although the Redbirds trimmed their deficit to nine points with 9:50 to play, ISU never pulled closer.
With Illinois State's final non-conference road game complete, the Redbirds return to Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena for back-to-back home games, beginning this Thursday, Dec. 19 against Tennessee State at 7:05 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Redbird Arena ticket office at (309) 438-8000 or by clicking here.
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