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STANFORD, Calif. (CBS) — Illinois State fell hard to Stanford in the NIT Monday night, in what Stanford’s Aaron Bright thought was one of the craziest games in which he has been involved.
Bright made six 3-pointers, and Chasson Randle hit a 3 of his own with just over a minute left in overtime to put Stanford ahead to stay in a 92-88 win over Illinois State.
Bright finished with a career-high 29 points for the Cardinal (23-11), who erased an 11-point deficit to win for the fourth time in five games.
Illinois State coach Tim Janovich thought Bright was the difference in the game.
“Our misfortune is Bright had a career high,” he said. “We couldn’t get him stopped. He got into a tremendous flow.”
Added Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins: “I thought that was Aaron’s best game he’s had here. I have not seen many players who played better than Aaron did tonight.”
Stanford hosts Nevada on Wednesday night, with a berth in the NIT’s Final Four in New York City at stake.
Nic Moore scored a career-high 25 points for the Redbirds (21-14), who played their third consecutive overtime game. Tyler Brown added 23 points, and Jackie Carmichael had 21 points and 12 rebounds.
“They turned up the heat a little bit and put us in a different mode,” Janovich said. “They are good at closing gaps and rotating to the paint.”
Randle finished with 19 points and Dwight Powell added a season-high 18 points. Stanford led 41-38 at halftime.
Illinois State used a 21-5 run to erase a seven-point and take a 61-52 lead with 12:30 remaining to play. The Redbirds hit three consecutive 3-pointers during the run, two by Brown.
The Redbirds led 71-60 with 9:01 remaining, but Stanford went on a 14-3 run to tie it at 74 with 5:14 left.
The game was still tied heading into a Stanford timeout with 21 seconds remaining. Randle’s shot at the buzzer hit the front rim, sending the game into overtime.
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