National Basketball Association
Drake 95, Illinois St. 60
When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, February 1, 2021
Where: Knapp Center, Des Moines, Iowa
# Bret Smith, # Bert Smith, # Chance Moore
Tremell Murphy made six 3-pointers and scored 30 points Monday night as No. 25 Drake celebrated its first game as a ranked team in 13 years with a 95-60 Missouri Valley Conference victory over Illinois State at Des Moines, Iowa.
Shanquan Hemphill added 18 points and Jonah Jackson came off the bench to score 12 points for the Bulldogs (17-0, 8-0), which remained one of just three unbeaten teams in Division I.
Drake pulled away after a slow start, making 14 of 15 shots at one point in the second half to turn the game into a runaway.
Antonio Reeves scored 20 points for the Redbirds (5-12, 2-9) and D.J. Horne chipped in 11, but it was not enough to keep them from falling further into the MVC cellar. They made just 40 percent of their field-goal attempts and were outrebounded 39-33.
Ahead 39-24 at the half, the Bulldogs buried Illinois State with offensive efficiency and solid defense. They finished the night at 51.5 percent from the field, including 13 of 31 from the 3-point line, and committed only seven turnovers, while 16 different players saw action.
It was Drake's 13th victory by 10 points or more this season and kept the team undefeated atop the MVC standings. The Bulldogs' most serious challenger for the MVC title is Loyola Chicago, who they will meet at Des Moines in two weeks.
Drake never trailed, although its offense sputtered for the game's first 10 minutes. It led just 11-6 seven minutes into the game before building the advantage to double digits at 21-10 with 7:35 remaining in the half on a 3-pointer by D.J. Wilkins.
The Redbirds, who took the Bulldogs to overtime Sunday in the opener of the two-game series before falling 78-76, could not generate traction offensively.
A Jackson 3-pointer initiated a 16-2 run that made it 24-10 following a Murphy 3-pointer with 6:24 left in the half. Illinois State never got closer than nine points for the remainder of the game.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Antonio Reeves 20
Tremell Murphy 30
Howard Fleming Jr. 3
Roman Penn 7
Abdou Ndiaye 7
Tremell Murphy 8
Alston Andrews 3
||Free Throws Made
Tremell Murphy 4
Howard Fleming Jr. 2
ShanQuan Hemphill 2
Abdou Ndiaye 2
ShanQuan Hemphill 1
Team Stats Summary