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TU Men fall on the road to Illinois State

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Milik Yarbrough scored a game-high 22 points and Illinois State erased a Tulsa lead with an 11-0 second-half run to rally for a 65-58 win over the Golden Hurricane on Saturday afternoon at Redbird Arena.

Junior Etou led a balanced scoring effort for Tulsa (4-4) with 10 points to go along with eight rebounds. TU also got nine boards from Jaleel Wheeler, which tied a career high, as the Hurricane registered a season-high 49 rebounds and held a 49-29 advantage on the glass.

Meanwhile, Yarbrough went 6-of-13 from the floor to pace the Redbirds (4-4), who also got 17 points from Phil Fayne. Illinois State was limited to 38.7-percent shooting, but scored 20 points off 21 Tulsa turnovers.

The Redbirds extended a 36-32 halftime lead to six, 43-37, in the opening minutes of the second half. But TU responded and outscored Illinois State 13-4 over the next nine minutes to grab a 49-47 lead.

Martins Igbanu and Etou started the charge with buckets inside. Curran Scott and DaQuan Jeffries also scored in the paint before the Hurricane got a free throw from Jaleel Wheeler. A pair of freebies by Lawson Korita gave TU the 49-47 advantage with 8:31 to play and the TU defense held Illinois State without a field goal for six minutes during the stretch.

However, the Redbirds charged back and took the lead for good with its 11-0 run over the next five minutes for a 58-49 cushion.

Tulsa got 3-pointers from Sterling Taplin and Corey Henderson Jr. in the closing minutes, but could get no closer than seven down the stretch as Illinois State closed out the 65-58 win.

Illinois State went on an early 13-0 run to grab a 15-4 lead after the first five minutes. However, the Hurricane countered with a 9-1 spurt that cut into the deficit. Korita had a basket inside and a 3-pointer during the stretch that saw Tulsa get within 16-13.

Over the next seven minutes, the Redbirds would again push their lead to double digits as Tulsa was plagued by turnovers. Trailing 33-23 with 3:58 to go in the half, the Hurricane would outscore Illinois State 9-3 the rest of the way to pull within 36-32 at intermission.

Tulsa did not allow a point in the final three minutes of the half and got a 3-pointer from Henderson Jr. in the final seconds of the period to grab the momentum.

Tulsa will be back in action at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9, when it will take on Kansas State (6-1) at INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita, Kan.

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