SOUTH BEND, Ind. — After seeing a 10-point halftime lead evaporate into a second-half deficit, Indiana State sophomore swingman Khristian Smith recalls thinking one thing.
"We've just got to fight back," Smith said Sunday after the Sycamores upset 21st-ranked Notre Dame, 83-70. "Runs are going to happen."
For the Sycamores, it was an ensuing run of their own that determined the outcome. After falling behind 45-44 with 15:07 remaining, Indiana State produced a spurt in which it outscored the Irish 18-3 to take control of the game. The Sycamores improved to 2-1 while the Irish dropped to 2-1.
Notre Dame was led by Eric Atkins' 18 points while Jerian Grant added 17 and Pat Connaughton 16. No other Irish player scored more than six points. Notre Dame shot 37 percent (28-of-58) from the floor, and committed 16 turnovers, many of them in the first nine minutes of the game.
"We got beat by one heck of a basketball team today," said Irish coach Mike Brey, who suffered his first November home loss in 14 years at the school. "I think their veteran poise was better than our veteran poise. It was Indiana State imposing their will on us on both ends of the floor."
Illini end Bradley's undefeated start
CHAMPAIGN — John Ekey scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds on Sunday as Illinois cruised to an easy 81-55 victory over previously unbeaten Bradley.
The 6-foot-7-inch Ekey hit five of seven from the three-point line. Junior guard Rayvonte Rice scored 13 points, and Tracy Abrams added 12.
Tyshon Pickett had a game-high 21 points for Bradley (4-1). Walt Lemon Jr., the Braves' leading scorer with 18.3 points per game coming into Sunday's contest, added 12.
Illinois out-rebounded Bradley 49-25, and had more offensive rebounds (10) in the first half than Bradley had defensive (9).
The Illini led 34-19 at the half, and held Bradley to 28 percent field-goal shooting in the first half. Illinois ended up shooting 47.5 percent from the field for the game, while Bradley shot 36 percent.
Late in the first half, Bradley's Xzavier Taylor fouled Rice, and both were awarded technical fouls after they each complained loudly.
Illinois played its fourth game of a five-game home stand, and opens 4-0 for the third consecutive season. Bradley had been aiming for its first 5-0 start since 2006-07.
Illinois State sends Northwestern to second straight loss
EVANSTON — Freshman Tony Wills hit two free throws with 5.9 seconds left as Illinois State held off a late Northwestern comeback to secure a 68-64 non-conference victory on Sunday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Teammates Zach Lofton and Daishon Knight led a balanced attack with 15 points apiece while John Jones had 11, Reggie Lynch added 10 and Michael Middlebrooks collected 11 rebounds.
The Redbirds (1-2) snapped a two-game losing streak and won for the third time in the five meetings with the Wildcats.
Northwestern (1-2) rallied from a 19-point second half deficit and trailed 66-64 after JerShon Cobb's jumper with 8.2 seconds to play. But Wills locked down the win seconds later with his free throws.
Cobb closed with 19 points, and Drew Crawford had 13 while Tre Demps added 12.
The Redbirds overcame a sluggish start and took a lead for good in the game's ninth minute.