Illinois State Rallies To Defeat The Bulldogs, 67-62

first_img Next Game: Indiana State 1/6/2016 – 7:00 PM Box Score (PDF) DES MOINES, Iowa — Led by a career-high 28 points from guard DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, the Illinois State men’s basketball team defeated Drake, 67-62, Sunday afternoon at the Knapp Center. Drake (5-9, 0-2 MVC) was led offensively by Reed Timmer (New Berlin, Wis.) and Graham Woodward (Edina, Minn.) with 16 and 15 points, respectively. Kale Abrahamson (West Des Moines, Iowa) led the team with eight rebounds, followed by Timmer and Ore Arogundade (Chicago, Ill.) with six each. Illinois State (8-7, 2-0 MVC) had three players score in the double figures to rally from a 10-point first-half deficit. Akoon-Purcell also led the team with nine rebounds followed by Quintin Brewer’s seven. The Redbirds finished the game shooting 43.1 percent after opening the game by making nine of their first 34 shots.The loss was Drake’s sixth by eight or fewer points as the game featured seven second-half lead changes before ISU pulled away. “The biggest difference today is we were able to get off to a good start and dictate that first half,” said Drake head coach Ray Giacoletti. “We talked about how important it was to get off to a good start in the second half and they [ISU] were able to get off to the good start. They got some energy and some confidence and we had a fight on our hands. I thought our group did a good job at making our run then, and it became a game of possessions. You’ve got to be able to make the stops, and we could not find a way.” Drake forced two early turnovers allowing the Bulldogs to assemble a 7-0 run, including a three-pointer by Arogundade. Drake extended its lead to 10 points after another 9-0 run, that included seven points scored in a minute, against an Illinois State team that missed their first seven trhee-point attempts.  Despite a later 3:17 scoring drought, Drake ended the first half with a 32-22 lead.The Bulldogs shot .625 from the three-point in the first half and .480 from the field against an Illinois State team that had only shot .154 from three-point range. However, the Bulldogs could not continue that torrid pace in the second half. Two-minutes into the second half Jacob Enevold (Lunderskov, Denmark) converted on a layup to extend Drake’s lead to 12 points but the Redbirds answered with an 11-0 run over the next seven minutes to cut Drake’s lead to one point. A few moments later, the Redbirds took their first lead of the half after making  10 of their first 17 field goals to go up 43-40 with 10 minutes left. From there, the lead changed hands seven times was tied five other times.”In close games it’s literally those last two or three minutes you’ve got to have confidence in one another that the group of five can play as one, and when something breaks down talk and make a play and get stops,” Giacoletti said. “We have not been able to do that. The crucial stops down the stretch we couldn’t do it and that its how you win close games.” With 2:16 left, Karl Madison (Springfield, Ill.) tied the game, 60-60, on a jumper just inside the arc but 50 seconds later ISU’s Tony Willis answered with a three-point to give the Redbirds a lead they would not relinquish. The Bulldogs had opportunities to pull back within a possession in the final 1:38, but three missed free throws allowed ISU to escape the Knapp Center and remain unbeaten in the MVC. The Bulldogs return to action on Jan. 6 when they host Indiana State at the Knapp Center. Tipoff against the Sycamores is set for 7 p.m.Print Friendly Version Box Score (HTML) Preview Buy Tickets Full Schedule Roster ESPN 1350 Mediacom MC22 / The Valley On ESPN3 Listen Live Watch Live Story Linkslast_img

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