Isaiah Brown scored 20 points and Bennett Koch scored 11 of his 17 points from the foul line and Northern Iowa beat Illinois State 83-72 on Wednesday night.
Northern Iowa (11-10, 3-6 Missouri Valley Conference) led 15-14 then exploded on a 25-0 run that included six 3-pointers, including three by Brown. Illinois State went scoreless for 9 1/2 minutes and trailed 41-19 at halftime.
Koch made 3 of 4 free throws for a 76-54 lead with 5:12 left before the Redbirds (10-11, 4-5) ended with an 18-7 run to make the score respectable. Illinois State shot 7 of 27 (26 percent) in the first half but turned it around after intermission on 22-of-38 (58 percent) shooting.
Wyatt Lohaus scored 14 for the Panthers and Juwan McClouds had career highs with nine assists and six steals. Northern Iowa has won three of its last four following a seven-game losing streak.
The Redbirds’ Keyshawn Evans made six 3-pointers and scored 25 points. Milik Yarbrough added 20 points and tied his career high with 13 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season.