KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Illinois State had an opportunity to tie Saturday's non-conference game at Western Michigan three times in the game's final minute and a half, but Boo Richardson, Dom Johnson and Roberto Fortes each missed three-point attempts as the Redbirds fell 65-57 at University Arena. The loss is the second straight for ISU, which falls to 6-4 on the season, while Western Michigan improved to 4-6 on the season.
The Broncos took the lead at the 2:10 mark in the first half and never looked back. WMU led by as many as 11 points, with a 52-41 advantage at the 7:37 mark, but a 10-2 Redbird run, including five points by Greg Dilligard, closed the gap to 54-51 with 5:44 on the clock. WMU stretched the lead back to seven points at 58-51, however, again, the Redbirds got to within three points after a Fortes' trey at the 2:46 mark to make the score 60-57. With 1:32 left in the contest, Richardson shot the potential tying three, but it bounced off the front of the iron and Dilligard hauled in the offensive rebound. Dilligard kicked the ball out to Johnson, who also missed from three, but again Dilligard grabbed the carom. Fortes took ISU's third-straight shot from three, but it also was off the mark.
The first half was close throughout with four lead changes and neither team owning a bigger lead than six points. Richardson sank all three free throws after being fouled a three-point attempt and tied the score at 15-15. The game was tied for the fifth time at 24-24, but WMU scored the final three points of the half to take a 27-24 lead at the intermission.
Fortes was the only Redbird in double-digit points with 15, while Dilligard and Anthony Slack each tossed in nine. Joe Reitz led the Broncos with 17 points and 18 rebounds, as WMU out-rebounded Illinois State 42-27. The Redbirds return home on Tuesday, when Illinois State hosts Lewis at 7:05 p.m.
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