Terre Haute, IN (Sports Network) - Justin Gant scored 18 points and hauled in 11 rebounds as the Indiana State Sycamores bested the Illinois State Redbirds, 77-75, in Missouri Valley Conference play at the Hulman Center.
Jake Odum tallied 17 points and handed out six assists, Devonte Brown netted 12 points and Manny Arop added 10 points for Indiana State (8-4, 1-0 MVC). The Sycamores have won four of their last five games.
Jon Ekey had 16 points for Illinois State (9-4, 0-1) and Jackie Carmichael had a double-double of 13 points and 14 rebounds. Tyler Brown chipped in 11 points for the Redbirds who had a four-game winning streak snapped.
Neither team shot particularly well in the first half. The Sycamores hit on 38.7 percent of their shots and led 36-27 at the break. Illinois State managed to hit just 25.7 percent of its shots in the first 20 minutes.
The Redbirds got back into the game in the second half by knocking down 51.9 percent of their shots in the period including a 7-of-13 effort from beyond the arc. Indiana State also improved to 48.3 percent shooting but had just one triple in the second half.
Indiana State led by 11 points with 3:41 remaining but had that lead cut to 77-73 with 34 seconds remaining on a 3-pointer from Zeke Upshaw. Arop was fouled on the next Sycamore possession and hit just 1-of-2 shots from the free throw line. Nick Zeisloft managed to get off a shot from beyond the arc in the closing seconds but it was off the mark, allowing Indiana State to escape with the win.
The Sycamores had a 38-18 advantage on points in the paint and outrebounded the Redbirds by a 46-36 margin.