What went down: Illinois State University (ISU) beat Southern Illinois University (SIU) 76-68 in an overtime thriller in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) tournament. Every game so far in the tournament has been decided by single digits. The first and only time a whole MVC tournament was decided by single digits was in 1999.
How it happened: The game was physical from start to end. The two teams combined for 19 fouls in the first half and finished with 49 total. Three players — ISU’s William Tinsley and SIU’s Armon Fletcher and Kavion Pippen — fouled out.
Neither team shot well; the Redbirds shot 36.4 percent for the game and the Salukis shot 31.8 percent. ISU took a 36-29 lead into halftime but SIU stormed back in the second half. The lead went back and forth for most of the second period — the game was tied six times and the lead changed 10 times.
After Fletcher saved the game with a huge block of Milik Yarbrough’s attempt at a buzzer-beating layup, the game headed into overtime. The story of overtime was ISU forward Phil Fayne. Fayne scored 16 of the Redbirds’ 23 overtime points, pulled down two rebounds, blocked a shot and notched a steal. The 51.5 percent free throw shooter also made seven straight free throws in overtime to put the game out of reach for ISU.
What’s Next? Illinois State and Loyola will play for the MVC championship March 4 at 1 p.m.