By: Sammy Stava
After falling short in the MVC Tournament Championship Game one year ago, No. 3 seeded Illinois State started their quest for a redemption run Friday night at the Scottrade Center against No. 6 seeded Indiana State.
The Redbirds looked motivated all night long as they took a big step forward in completing their mission coming out with a 77-70 victory over the Sycamores.
Former SLU transfer and Illinois State senior Milik Yarbrough had a big night at the Scottrade Center. Yarbrough finished with 24 points, which led the way for the Redbirds, including some clutch free throws in the end.
On the other side, Indiana State sophomore out of CBC High School Jordan Barnes had a big night as he led the Sycamores with points, though it wasn’t enough.
Illinois State did a terrific job defensively on senior point guard Brenton Scott, limiting him to three points in his final game of his college career. “He’s had a stellar career, stellar, and he just had a really, really bad night,” Redbird head coach Dan Muller said of Scott.
Illinois State becomes the fourth team from the state of Illinois to advance to MVC Semifinal Saturday tomorrow. The Redbirds join Loyola, Bradley, and Southern Illinois. It’s the first time in MVC Tournament history that four schools from the state of Illinois have advanced to that.
“Now, if Loyola doesn’t win, and I’ve said this many times, we deserve at least two teams in the (NCAA) Tournament,” said Muller.
There’s a chance Illinois State can be that second team. The Redbirds are on to the semifinals tomorrow afternoon at 5:00 against Southern Illinois.