NORMAL, Ill. -- Jackie Carmichael had 19 points and 10 rebounds as Illinois State withstood Northern Iowa's late 12-0 run and prevailed 65-61 in a Missouri Valley opener Thursday night.
Jon Ekey also had a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Redbirds (9-3), who won their fourth straight. Nic Moore added 13 points and Anthony Cousin 11.Anthony James led the Panthers (10-3) with 21 points but shot only 9 of 25. Chip Rank added 11 for Northern Iowa, which has lost two in a row.Carmichael and Ekey scored six points apiece as Illinois State opened the second half with a 12-2 run for a 40-30 edge with 14:35 to go.Moore's 3-pointer pushed the lead to 59-46 with 5:57 leftNorthern Iowa came back furiously, running off 12 straight points to get within 59-58 with 1:56 left. But Cousin hit six straight free throws to help seal it.