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March 14, 2012

Red-hot Redbirds too much for Ole Miss

OXFORD, Miss. -- Tyler Brown scored 26 points, Nic Moore added 24 and Illinois State put on a record-setting shooting display in a 96-93 overtime victory over Mississippi on Wednesday night in the first round of the NIT.

Illinois State (21-13) set a Tad Smith Coliseum record for 3-pointers, making 17 of 23 (73.9 percent) from beyond the arc.

"We're a very good shooting team," Illinois State coach Tim Jankovich said. "But this was crazy."

Brown was 8 of 9 from 3-point range, while Moore made all six of his attempts. Illinois State shot 32 of 51 (62.7 percent) from the field overall, including 5 of 6 (83.3 percent) in overtime.

Jon Ekey scored 15 points for the Redbirds, and Jackie Carmichael added 13 points and 10 rebounds.

"We were just all feeling it and playing together," Moore said. "They were crashing the boards and getting second-chance shots, so it was tough to stay ahead. We knew they weren't going to give up. They kept battling back."

LaDarius White scored 25 points and Terrance Henry added 21 for Ole Miss (20-14), which lost in the NIT's first round for the second straight season.

Brown put Illinois State up 61-49 after his seventh 3-pointer with 12:22 remaining in regulation and it looked as if the Redbirds would cruise, but Ole Miss rallied to tie it late and Jarvis Summers just missed a 10-foot jumper at the buzzer to send it to overtime.

Brown actually did all of his damage in just 23 minutes, missing time because of a slight knee injury and then fouling out with 4:40 remaining in regulation. Moore was right there to pick up the slack, hitting three of his 3-pointers after Brown left the game.

"(Brown and Moore) just don't really surprise me anymore because they've done so many good things," Jankovich said. "As amazing as these numbers are, it's not shocking. I'm really thrilled, but I'm not shocked. These guys are a little different."

Illinois State scored the first two baskets in overtime and never looked back. The Rebels had the ball with a chance to tie or win down 95-93 with 10 seconds remaining, but Nick Williams threw a cross-court pass out of bounds and Anthony Cousin hit a final free throw and intentionally missed the second with 1.8 seconds left to seal the victory.

Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said his team could never string together enough stops to win the game.

"I can't believe we forced an extra period considering the numbers I'm looking at in front of me," Kennedy said.

Summers had his first career double-double for the Rebels with 16 points and 12 assists. Murphy Holloway added 16 points.


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