The Indiana State Sycamore men came into Wednesday night’s Missouri Valley Conference showdown with Illinois State winning two of their last four games and looking to finish the season strong coming into the MVC Tournament.
The Sycamores came out hot from the very beginning, dominating the defensive end of the game, with 9 steals over Illinois State’s 2 steals and added 12 rebounds- one of the only stats the Redbirds led in- and only by 1.
Tyreke Key led the team with 15 points and 3 steals in the first half while Cooper Neese added 9 points to the mix and the Sycamores were rolling to a strong second half performance.
The second half was more of the same, with Key finishing the game at 21 points and Neese tallying a total of 17. The Sycamores continued to stifle the Redbirds on the defensive end, with the shooting percentages and rebounds almost identical but the separating point was assists, which ISU dominated 15-9 and steals, which they led 13-2.
The deciding factor could easily be attributed to the turnover game, which saw Indiana State forcing 20 Illinois State turnovers, while they only turned the ball over once the entire game.
With ISU coming into the game with just a 1-game lead on Illinois State, the Sycamores played like a team ready for the NCAA Tournament and like a team much better than their .500 record- which improved to 14-13 after their 73-50 win.
The Sycamores return to action on Saturday when they travel to Missouri State and on to Drake next Wednesday.