NORMAL, Illinois — Khristian Smith scored the game-winner with 5.8 seconds left and Indiana State held on to beat Illinois State 63-61 in the Missouri Valley Conference opener for both teams Wednesday.
Illinois State came back from an 11-point deficit at the 7:42 mark when Tony Wills scored to tie it at 61 with 34.4 seconds left. Smith answered by splitting two defenders and scoring a 12-foot turnaround jumper in the lane. The Redbirds then got the ball to Wills underneath the basket, but his shot was blocked at the buzzer to seal it for the Sycamores.
Tre' Bennett scored 15 points, and Justin Gant had 10 to lead Indiana State (5-8, 1-0), which shot 62 percent overall in the second half.
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