NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — Deontae Hawkins knocked down five 3-pointers and finished with 24 points and seven boards as Illinois State beat Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne in its home opener, 75-57 on Wednesday night.
Hawkins hit 9 of 15 from the field, including 5 of 7 from distance ln leading the Redbirds. MiKyle McIntosh contributed 13 points.
Illinois State raced to a 19-2 lead to start the game and held a 41-24 advantage at intermission.
Fort Wayne got within nine points, 53-44 with 12:39 left in the game after John Konchar tipped in an offensive rebound, but the Redbirds scored the next five points to push their lead back to double digits.
Mo Evans knocked down five 3-pointers to lead Fort Wayne with 19 points. Konchar added 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Illinois State (1-1) is picked to finish second in the Missouri Valley Conference; Fort Wayne (1-2) is the preseason favorite to win the Summit League.