The Illinois State Redbirds held a one-point lead at halftime, and took the top-seeded Creighton Bluejays to overtime during Sunday's MVC Tournament Championship Game. They couldn't complete what would have been a bubble-busting upset for one unlucky major conference team, however, falling 17-13 in OT for a final score of 83-79.
Illinois State was down as many as 11 points, but a big rally to close the first half gave them the lead. The two teams went back and forth over the next 20 minutes, trading the lead nine times. Nic Moore tied the game for the Redbirds at 66-66 on a layup with just six seconds left in regulation. Antoine Young missed what would have been the game-winning jumper for the Bluejays, and Gregory Echenique missed the tip-in off the rebound to send the game into overtime.
Creighton dominated after intermission, going up by nine points on a 13-4 run out of the gate. The Redbirds clawed back, however, pulling within three points on a Jon Ekey three-pointer with 12 seconds on the clock. Out of options, Illinois State fouled Young who made the front end of his two free throws to seal the win and the NCAA Tournament bid for the Bluejays.
Doug McDermott led the way for Creighton with 33 points on 12-for-18 shooting. Young scored eight of his 14 points in overtime, going 8-for-14 from the free throw line. Moore paced the Redbirds with 20 points. Jackie Carmichael picked up nine rebounds to go along with his 17 points. He couldn't fully make up the difference in a 36-29 advantage for the Bluejays on the boards.
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