ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Illinois State sophomore Keyshawn Evans said he liked the rims inside Scottrade Center.
It showed on Friday afternoon.
Propelled by 15 points from Evans and a 19-point, 5-rebound, 2-assist performance by senior Deontae Hawkins, the Redbirds (26-5, 17-1) fought off pesky Evansville (16-17, 6-12), 80-69.
Bench production decided the contest. Illinois State outscored Evansville 30-8 in the battle of subs.
“Credit to Evansville. I thought they played unbelievably hard,” said Illinois State head coach Dan Muller. “They competed (and) had to keep fighting back. (They) had to make some big plays down the stretch.”
As Thursday night, the Purple Aces jumped on their opponent out of the gates. Eighth-seeded Evansville ran ahead to a multi-possession lead before the first media timeout. Continue reading RECAP: Illinois State fights off Evansville, 80-69