Redbirds fall to the Indiana State Sycamores
Written by Joe Kennedy on January 16, 2021
Sophomore guard DJ Horne’s 16 points were not enough for the Redbirds in their loss to the Indiana State Sycamores. The Redbirds couldn’t stop Cooper Neese, who put up 17 points in the 73-65 Sycamore victory.
The first half started by Josiah Strong scoring the first five points for ISU, but the Redbirds could not handle the shooting ability of Neese. Neese scored six straight points for Indiana State and helped the Sycamores extend their lead to five with four minutes left in the half.
The Redbirds did well defensively during the middle of the first half, allowing zero points from a span of the 10-minute mark to the sixth minute. During that time, the Birds were not able to get much going, as they were only able to lead by one point, their largest lead of the game.
Josiah Strong scored ten points in the first half and looked to have a promising second half but could not find the bottom of the bucket in the second. Strong ended the game just with the ten points from the first.
Down by five points heading into the second half, The Redbirds came out firing running the offense through D.J. Horne and big-man Dusan Mahorcic. Sophomore Antonio Reeves combined with Mahorcic to put the Redbirds on within striking distance of the Sycamores tying the game at 36 apiece.
Unfortunately for the ‘Birds that would be the last time they would be on the same plane as Indiana State as The Sycamore’s Tyreke Key woke up from his first-half slump and put down 10 second-half points. The Redbirds struggled to keep up and found themselves in foul trouble early putting The Sycamores in the bonus with just under 10 minutes to play.
Indiana State reigns as the best free-throw shooting team in The Valley and flexed that muscle in the second half shooting 19 of 21 from the line. Illinois State’s Mohorcic had an uncharacteristically solid game from the stripe as well, shooting well over double his season average coming in. Unfortunately, not enough for the ‘Birds to draw even.
The comeback effort for the Redbirds came off the backs of terrific defensive showings by Abdou Ndiaye and Antonio Reeves. At the final buzzer, the deficit was too much to overcome at the Redbirds dropped the first of two games against the Sycamores, 73-65