ST. LOUIS (AP) Jaylon Brown scored 27 points and Duane Gibson added 20 as Evansville jumped out early and then held on to defeat Indiana State 83-72 in the opener of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament on Thursday night.
Brenton Scott caught fire in the second half, scoring 12 of his 17 points in an eight-minute run down the stretch and the Sycamores whittled Evansville’s 26-point lead down to 79-72 on a TJ Bell slam dunk. The dunk, with 24 seconds left, came on Indiana State’s third try for a basket after two offensive rebounds off of missed treys kept the possession alive.
When the Sycamores fouled, Brown and Gibson each sank a pair of free throws in the last 19 seconds. The output was Brown’s fifth-straight 20-point game. Eighth-seeded Evansville (16-16) advances to meet top seed Illinois State (25-5) on Friday.
Scott hit four of No. 9 seed Indiana State’s (11-20) nine 3s, and Bell finished with 15 points.