War on 74: The Redbirds Stun the Bradley Braves 71-56
Written by Joey Dwyer on January 20, 2021
NORMAL, Ill. – The Illinois State Redbirds come out victorious against their Rival, the Bradley Braves, with a final score of 71-56. Leading the way for the Redbirds was Dj Horne with 23 points and Josiah Strong with 14 points and four steals.
The Redbirds started sloppily in the first five minutes of the game, down 16-4 with 12 minutes left in the first half. During the media timeout, Coach Muller told his players that they had to be more aggressive against a dominant Bradley frontcourt.
The Redbirds scored 8 unanswered points to tie the game at 22-22 and went back and forth until the half ended at 31-30 in favor of Bradley.
Leading the way at the half for ISU was DJ Horne with 8 points and 2 rebounds and Dusan Mahorcic with six points, three rebounds, and two assists.
After starting flat-footed in the first half, The Redbirds came out firing in the second. Antonio Reeves drained a jumper putting the Birds up 32-31 and they never looked back. The trio of guards including Reeves, D.J. Horne, and Josiah Strong caught fire for the Redbirds and could make seemingly any shot they put up. This was exemplified when Strong lobbed a desperation three-ball from the logo as the shot clock expired. As was par-for-the-course this game, the shot was nothing but net.
D.J Horne led the Redbirds 2nd half scoring onslaught with 15 points. The Birds also stayed stout defensively as ISU bigs Dusan Mahorcic and Alex Kotov locked down the 2-time all Missouri Valley Conference team selection Elijah Childs. The Bradley senior was held to a measly four points with 25% shooting.
The Redbirds defied expectation and handed it to the back-to-back MVC Champs on both sides of the ball. Passionate play from the Birds led to the absolute dominant performance (along with a taunting technical foul on D.J. Horne). In what is always a thrilling rivalry, the Illinois State Redbirds fought to victory 71-56.