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Redbirds fall to Drake in tournament quarterfinal

Redbirds fall to Drake in tournament quarterfinal

ST. LOUIS – The Illinois State Men’s Basketball season came to an end in the second round of the 2019 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Friday night, falling to the Drake Bulldogs by a score of 78-62.

The Redbirds came out of the gates slow, and were never able to recover, as Drake lead wire to wire. The Redbirds shot 25% from the field in the first half, hitting  just seven of the 28 shots they attempted. The lone bright spots for the ‘Birds in the first half were forwards Phil Fayne and Rey Idowu, who scored nine of the team’s 17 first half points. The Drake Bulldogs capitalized on the poor shooting performance, and took a 37-17 lead into the locker room at the half.

The Redbirds found their footing coming out of the locker in the second half, as they were able to chip away at lead, getting as close as nine points. The ‘Birds were led by seniors Milik Yarbrough and Fayne in the final 20 minutes of play, as they combined 25 second half points.

“It was a learning experience,” said senior guard Keyshawn Evans. “Not only for the young guys on the team, but the seniors too.”

The loss not only marked the end of the season for the Redbirds, it also marked the end of Evans, Fayne, Yarbrough, and William Tinsley’s time in a Redbird uniform.

“I’m damn disappointed,” said Head Coach Dan Muller. “I’m disappointed with myself, I’m upset I couldn’t get it done with this group of guys.”

The Illinois State Redbirds finished the season with a 17-16 record going 9-9 in MVC play. Losing just 4 players from this years team and adding a very talented scout team, the ‘Birds are already looking towards what has the potential to be a bright future.

Hector Carrion

March 8th, 2019

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