first_img Live Stats 1350 ESPN Des Moines The Valley On ESPN3 Listen Live Watch Live at Indiana State 2/11/2017 – 1 p.m. Box Score (PDF) Box Score (HTML) Next Game: Full Schedule Roster Preview Photo Gallery DES MOINES, Iowa – Illinois State used a strong second-half performance to pull away from the Drake University men’s basketball team in an 82-53 win for the Redbirds Tuesday, Feb. 7, evening at the Knapp Center.Illinois State (20-5, 12-1 MVC), which sits atop the Missouri Valley Conference standings and is sixth in the nation in field goal percentage defense, held Drake (7-18, 5-8 MVC) to 18.2 percent shooting in the second half with just six field goals to earn the road victory.”We got the ball where we wanted to and were able to kick it out for perimeter shots,” said Drake head coach Jeff Rutter. “They’ve got length to contest it and the shots just didn’t drop. After a while it takes a toll on your defense. Credit to them, they put the ball in the hole and played with great aggressiveness.”The Bulldogs were led by 12 points, all in the first half, from Billy Wampler (Eau Claire, Wis.) with a pair of three-pointers. De’Antae McMurray (Alton, Ill.) added nine points and four assists in the loss. Paris Lee led Illinois State with a career-high 26 points on 11-of-18 shooting with four three-pointers while Keyshawn Evans added 16 points. As a team, Illinois State shot 57.6 percent for the game and a staggering 69.2 percent in the second half.”We played well in first half and then hit a cold stretch while they hit a hot stretch. Game, set, match. Simple as that,” Rutter said. Drake built up a 6-point, 29-23, first-half lead on back-to-back three-pointers from McMurray and Ore Arogundade (Chicago, Ill.) and maintained that lead with three minutes remaining in the period. However, ISU closed the half on a 9-0 run to take a 37-34 lead into halftime.Illinois State’s defense clamped down in the second half as the Redbirds and their press held Drake scoreless for a three-minute span to go on an 8-0 run to take a 55-43 lead with 11 minutes left in the game.”The second half they had really suffocating defense,” Wampler said. “They’re long and athletic and are one of the best defenses in the nation for a reason.”The Bulldogs’ shooters continued to miss the mark against Illinois State’s length and later were held scoreless for 6:14 as the Redbirds went on a 20-0 run to open up the margin and a take a 30-point lead with two minutes remaining in the game to earn just the third road win by a Valley team in the Knapp Center this season.The Bulldogs travel to Terre Haute, Ind., next to face Indiana State Feb. 11 at 1 p.m. The game will broadcast live on The Valley on ESPN3 and can be heard on 1350 ESPN Des Moines.Print Friendly Version Story Linkslast_img read more