Illinois State advances in NIT with UC Irvine win

Illinois State became the second 2017 Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off participant to win a NIT game as the home-standing Redbirds used a pair of double-digit scoring efforts from forwards MiKyle McIntosh and Phil Fayne Wednesday to net an 85-71 victory Wednesday over UC Irvine in the first round of the NIT.

After 2017 Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off participant Boise State (Mountain West Conference, 20-11) posted a 73-68 win at Utah Tuesday, Illinois State (28-6) bounced back from a loss to Wichita State in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title game.

The top-seeded Redbirds, who tied Wichita State for the regular-season MVC title with 17-1 league marks, will host fourth-seed Central Florida (22-11) in the second round Monday before sixth-seeded Boise State plays second-seeded Illinois (19-14) in the same state an hour later.

McIntosh, a junior, scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds while the sophomore Fayne made five of six field goal attempts to add 11 points to the Redbird total while gathering seven rebounds in the win over the Anteaters of the Big West Conference.

The 2017 Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off is scheduled for November 16, 17 and 19 in San Juan. Other schools competing in the three-day, 12-game bracketed in-season tournament include NCAA entries Florida State (Atlantic Coast, 25-8), Iowa State (Big 12, 23-10) and South Carolina (Southeaster, 22-10). Also participating in the 11th annual event will be Tulsa (American Athletic, 15-17), UTEP (Conference USA, 15-17) and Western Michigan (Mid-American, 16-16).