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‘Birds Soar to Three-Straight Wins

Written by on February 22, 2024

Image courtesy of Redbird Athletics

The Illinois State Men’s Basketball team kept the momentum rolling as they defeated the Northern Iowa Panthers last night by a score of 81-73. This is the Redbirds third win in a row and their first win against the Panthers since December 31st, 2019.

Coach Ryan Pedon’s squad is starting to get points on the board as this is their third consecutive game of scoring 80+ points in a game. One of the biggest reasons for this sudden increase in points is the emergence of Freshman Guard Johnny Kinziger. He led the team in scoring with 21 points while being an efficient 70% from the field. Kinziger also recorded four assists and two rebounds.

When Kinzger was asked about the Redbirds getting red hot at the right part of the season, he elaborated on how important it is to be playing your best basketball during this part of the season.

“You always want to play your best basketball heading into the [MVC] tournament and finishing off the season,” Kinziger said. “I think it’s been about being solid all season. We’ve had highs and lows. Coach Pedon always talks about just being solid and keeping a level head. We’ve done a really good job and we’re getting rewarded. We’ve got to keep it going.”

Myles Foster returned to his double double statlines as he recorded 18 points and 14 rebounds. This is now Foster’s fifth double double in the past five games. The Senior Forward also preached about how important it is to remain hot during this part of the season.

“Success isn’t linear,” Foster said. “Basketball is a perfect example of life. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs early in the season. We dropped a couple of close games this season. We have the next men mentality and we stick with every single day. We’re starting to reap the benefits of that. It all comes down to late February Early march at the end of the day. So why not play our best basketball right now?”

Kendall Lewis also joined Myles Foster in the double-double club as he recorded 17 points and ten assists.

Coach Pedon and his squad were efficient on all aspects of the court. The team shot 52.9% from the field, 44.4% from three, and 76% from the free throw line.

This victory gets the Redbirds back to .500% as their record is now 14-14. The Redbirds will be looking to make it four wins in a row as they travel to one of their rivals home to take on the Bradley Braves on Saturday.