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Redbirds Fall In Arch Opener for Second-Straight Year

Written by on March 8, 2024

Image courtesy of Redbird Athletics

ST. LOUIS – 7-seeded Illinois State experienced heartbreak as they lost to the 10-seeded Evansville Purple Aces in the first round of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, 59-43.  

The Redbirds did not lead once during this game, falling behind Evansville 25-21 to close the first half. Evansville shot 32% in this matchup, outscoring the Redbirds in each half. 

ISU was led by forward Myles Foster. The senior scored 18 points while also adding nine rebounds and three assists, leading the team in all categories. For the Purple Aces, Ben Humrichous led the way with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists.  

In the second half, the Redbirds closed Evansville’s lead to two points with 37 seconds left. With a 53-51 score, Myles Foster was called for a flagrant foul. Many Redbird fans did not agree with the call, but it was enough to give the Purple Aces a comfortable lead to win with a final score of 59-53. 

“It was not intentional at all, it’s not the type of player I am,” said Foster. “Big time call, who knows what would have happened if he didn’t call that.” 

Head Coach Ryan Pedon discussed his younger players and recruiting approach his team will take this off-season. He explained the holes the team will need to fill, but also enjoys where this team is heading. 

“I feel really strongly about the guys we have in our locker room,” said Pedon. “We’re about two inches away from being in a whole different place.” 

Evansville will face Drake Friday, March 8 at 6 p.m. Illinois State will head back to Normal and start their off-season preparation. 

“We’re going to take this and use it for next year, because we’re going to be back here,” said Redbird guard Johnny Kinziger.