Postgame: Illinois State-81 Saint Joseph’s-72

          What seemed like a winnable game for the Saint Joseph’s Hawks quickly became an absolute nightmare. The Hawks only led once during the whole game. The score at that time was 4-3.  
          In the first half St. Joe’s shot an ugly 36.0% (9-25) from the floor and 30.8% (4-13) from 3-point land. The second of those numbers is especially cringe worthy considering that much of the SJU scoring usually comes from downtown. In contrast, Illinois State shot above 50% from the floor and from 3-point range. This allowed them to open up and sustain a double digit lead. At the end of the first half Illinois State led 41-27.
          The second half was not much better for the Hawks. They did shoot the ball better, but the deficit they accrued in the first half was just too much. Senior Captain Brendan Casper provided an abrupt spark off of the bench shooting 4-5 from the floor and scoring a total of 9 points. St. Joe’s was able to bring the game within 5 points at one time, but Illinois State was able to subdue the comeback behind their stud Point Guard Paris Lee. Shavar Newkirk was business as usual scoring 21 points; 10 of which came from the charity stripe. He just was not able to carry everyone else. Lamarr Kimble had a very lackluster performance only scoring a total of 9 points.
          If you are ever taking a drive in central Illinois through thousands of acres of cornfields, stop in Bloomington and watch a basketball game. The Illinois State Redbirds are a good team that many expect to win the Missouri Valley Conference and possibly upset a higher seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Redbirds are led by Maywood, IL native, Paris Lee. He is a phenomenal scorer and great defender. He is very fun to watch.
          Saint Joseph’s fell to a record of 5-5 while Illinois State improved to a solid 6-3. SJU looks to bounce back at home against the Lafayette Leopards on December 22nd, while the Redbirds look to improve against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors in Honolulu on December 23rd.   

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