By: Sammy Stava
The second game of Arch Madness Quarterfinal Friday set up an all Indiana matchup between fourth seeded Indiana State and fifth seeded Evansville. It definitely felt like an in-state battle the way these two teams were competing on Friday afternoon.
As a four vs five game should be, the contest was evenly matched through the first 20 minutes as the Sycamores took a 31-29 lead into halftime.
Indiana State held a 40-39 lead 10 minutes into the second half. Junior guard Cooper Neese – who was scoreless in the first half, hit a three-pointer to give the Sycamores a 43-39 lead with 9:45 remaining.
In the following minutes, Indiana State had an opportunity to grow the lead to eight points but missed four straight free throws, keeping Evansville within striking distance.
Though, the Aces couldn’t capitalize on the Sycamores’ missed opportunity, as it was an offensive struggle for both teams.
With 1:23 remaining in the game, senior Tyreke Key hit a two-point jumper to give the Sycamores a 49-43, which felt like the dagger.
It was, as Indiana State pulled away with a 53-43 victory over Evansville with a team-leading 19 points from Tyreke Key.
For the first time since 2016, Indiana State has advanced to MVC Semifinal Saturday. That sets up a match up with top-seeded Loyola Ramblers.
Tip-off comes your way at noon on the KTRS website stream.