No. 23 Indiana State falls 80-67 to Illinois State in first game in 45 years as ranked team


Indiana State falls in its first game as ranked team since 1979

Illinois State goes into Indiana State and picks up the road win for the upset.

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- — Johnny Kinziger scored a career-high 31 points and Illinois State handed No. 23 Indiana State an 80-67 loss on Tuesday night in the Sycamores' first outing as a ranked team since Larry Bird led them to the national title game 45 years ago.

Kinziger went 10 of 12 from the field and more than doubled his previous career best of 14 points. Myles Foster had 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Redbirds (12-14, 6-9 Missouri Valley Conference), who stopped a three-game skid and won for just the fourth time since Dec. 21.

Indiana State's nine-game winning streak was snapped. The Sycamores had surged into the rankings thanks in part to an offense that came in ranking fifth nationally at 85.6 points per game, but they had a poor shooting night against the Redbirds, missing their first 16 3-point attempts and finishing 8 of 38 from beyond the arc.

Julian Larry scored 20 points for Indiana State (24-3, 13-2), which lost leading rebounder Jayson Kent to an injury with 18:35 left in the game. Kent had eight rebounds when he was hurt in a scramble for a loose ball. Isaiah Swope added 18 points.

Swope's layup with with 9:33 left put Indiana State ahead 49-48, its first lead of the game, but Illinois State responded with a 17-8 run to push ahead 65-55 with 3:49 remaining, and the Sycamores never threatened again.


While Indiana State's appearance in the AP Top 25 sparked memories of Bird leading the program to the 1979 national title game against Magic Johnson and Michigan State, the Sycamores couldn't afford a loss like this and will almost certainly drop out of the rankings.


Illinois State: The Redbirds gained an advantage most teams in the MVC don’t have — a win over Indiana State. The win should help Illinois State improve its NET ranking, which is the tiebreaker for conference tournament seeding among teams that split their head-to-head matchups.

Indiana State: The loss re-opens the race atop the conference, with Drake the Sycamores' closest pursuer.


Illinois State: Hosts Evansville on Sunday.

Indiana State: At Southern Illinois on Saturday, the most difficult matchup left in its MVC schedule.


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