NORMAL, Ill. (AP) - Wichita State was on its way to another Missouri Valley Conference win when it just fell apart down the stretch against Illinois State.
No. 21 Wichita State managed just seven field goals in the second half of a 58-53 loss to the Redbirds on Saturday night.
Illinois State went 22 for 26 at the free-throw line, compared to 9 for 15 for the Shockers. The Redbirds also enjoyed a 46-35 rebounding advantage.
“They got to the foul line way too many times,” Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said.
Wichita State (17-6, 11-1) had won 12 in a row. Shaquille Morris and Ron Baker each scored 10 points for the Shockers, who shot 35.2 percent (19 for 54).
The Redbirds ((14-11, 8-4) earned their fifth win in six games despite shooting 27.3 percent (15 for 55) from the field. Paris Lee scored 13 of his career-high 19 points in the second half, and Deontae Hawkins had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
“This game really told the team we can compete with anybody,” Lee said. “It just shows us how good of a team we can be.”
Wichita State had a 12-point lead at the break, and a layup for Evan Wessel and Baker’s jumper made it 37-21 early in the second half.
But Illinois State used an 11-0 run to close to 38-35 on Nick Banyard’s 3-pointer. Banyard had a tying dunk with 10:11 to go and Hawkins’ 3-pointer lifted the Redbirds to a 44-41 lead.
Lee made four big foul shots in the final three minutes. Conner Frankamp’s 3 with 3:07 left accounted for Wichita State’s final points of the night.
“I have to do a better job helping my guys in the second half with our execution,” Marshall said. “We have to knock down a few more shots.”
DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell had 12 points and nine boards for Illinois State.
“That’s a really good team we just beat,” Illinois State coach Dan Muller said.
Wichita State: The Shockers went 6 for 27 from 3-point range. Baker was 1 for 7 from beyond the arc, and Fred VanVleet was 1 for 6. … Morris has scored in double figures in five of Wichita State’s last six games.
Illinois State: The Redbirds have defeated a Top 25 team in each of the last five seasons.
Wichita State visits Drake on Tuesday.
Illinois State visits Evansville on Thursday.
Akoon-Purcell has scored in double digits in 24 of Illinois State’s 25 games. He is averaging a team-best 14.8 points per game.
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