Phil Fayne and Milik Yarbrough scored 23 points each as Illinois State forced Missouri State into uncharacteristic turnovers, handing the Bears their first Missouri Valley Conference loss, 72-68, Sunday.
Illinois State (9-7, 3-1) showed why it owns the best turnover margin in the MVC, forcing Missouri State into a season-most 18 turnovers, 11 in the first half, turning those into 23 points while the Redbirds only turned the ball over six times. The Bears had the fewest turnovers in conference.
Missouri State, which lost a four-game win streak as well as its 3-0 start in MVC, fell behind by as many as 10 in the second half but fought back into a 58-56 lead on a J.T. Miller tip-in and foul shot with 4:44 to play.
Fayne regained the lead with back-to-back dunks inside the final two minutes, converting the second dunk into a 3-point play. Illinois State was up 65-62 and Yarbrough, Keyshawn Evans and Fayne made 5 of 8 free throws in the last 15 seconds while a 3-pointer and a drive by Jarred Dixon couldn’t regain the lead.
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Miller, Ronnie Rousseau and Alize Johnson scored 16 each for the Bears (13-4, 3-1).
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