Recap: Wichita State vs. Illinois State
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Tyler Brown netted a game-high 25 points, including the game-winning free-throws in the final seconds, and Illinois State toppled No. 15 Wichita State, 65-64, in a Missouri Valley Conference Tournament semifinal.
Jackie Carmichael contributed a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds and Nic Moore added 12 points for the Redbirds (20-12), who will play No. 25 Creighton in Sunday's championship game.
"For some reason, we played them well even when we didn't play well," said Illinois State head coach Tim Jankovich. "We all thought we would have a chance, but we also knew realistically we would have to play tremendous. I never, ever thought we could shoot 33 percent and beat this team."
Joe Ragland paced the Shockers (27-5) with 17 points. Ben Smith had 14 points to go with 13 rebounds for Wichita State, which saw a nine-game winning streak ended.
"[We] can't let it carry over [to the NCAA Tournament]," said Ragland. "We want to be successful because we have more games, but we can't let this affect us in our next game or practice or anything else. We're just got to move forward."
Down 64-63, Brown missed a jumper, but came down with his own rebound before being fouled under the basket with 6.4 seconds to play.
The Shockers had two chances to take the lead after Brown's free-throws fell threw, but Toure' Murry and Garrett Stutz failed to convert their attempts from the floor.
Witchita State led by 13 early in the second half, but Illinois State's Bryant Allen knocked down a shot to open a 14-4 spurt to get ISU back into the game at 45-42.
The Shockers scored the next four, but failed to capitalize on that momentum as the Redbirds began draining three-pointers. Jon Ekey, Carmichael, Brown and Moore each hit treys in a five-minute span for their first lead of the seocnd half, 56-55.
Ragland hit a shot from beyond the arc on Witchita State's next possession to take back the lead, and they would hold a slim advantage until Carmichael's layup tied it at 63 with 4:35 remaining.
Murray netted one of two from the charity stripe to give the Shockers a 64-63 lead with 2:51 to play, but they missed their final nine attempts from the field in the loss.
Witchita State held a 36-28 edge at halftime.Game Notes
Illinois State defeated a ranked opponent for the first time since December 29, 1987...The Redbirds shot 90.9 percent (20-of-22) from the free-throw line...Illinois State's John Wilkins finished with eight points and eight rebounds...Witchita State held a 40-34 rebounding advantage.