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REGGIE LYNCH

Illinois State's Reggie Lynch, left, goes up for a shot against Bradley's Mike Shaw on Saturday at Redbird Arena. Lynch hopes to avoid foul trouble Tuesday when the Redbirds meet Drake in Des Moines, Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa — There was no popcorn at this film session. Reggie Lynch said his one-on-one with Illinois State coach Dan Muller on Sunday consisted of breaking down Lynch's recent foul troubles.

Lynch said they watched about 40 minutes of game film together. How long did it seem to last?

"It felt forever," said the 6-foot-10 sophomore center. "It was a good teaching lesson."

Muller would like to see Lynch play more than 12 minutes, which he did in Saturday's win against Bradley, when ISU faces Drake at 7 p.m. Tuesday in a Missouri Valley Conference basketball game at Knapp Center.

This could be considered the classic "trap game" for the Redbirds (11-7, 3-3 MVC). Not only is it tucked between rival Bradley and Sunday's home game against No. 20-ranked Northern Iowa, but ISU hammered Drake (4-14, 1-5) by 36 points less than two weeks ago in Normal.

What should have grabbed the Redbirds' attention was Drake's 84-78 victory over Indiana State, which was undefeated in the Valley, on Saturday. The Sycamores own two wins over ISU this season.

"All you can do is talk about it and tell them the facts that they (the Bulldogs) are playing better," said Muller. "The most important thing for us every night is to play well no matter who you're playing."

Whether Paris Lee plays could be a game-time decision. The Redbirds' sophomore point guard injured his left knee with nine seconds left Saturday. Muller said an MRI on Monday showed no damage and the knee was stable although the ISU coach added that Lee "tweaked it."

Lynch, who said his ailing lower back is feeling much better, will be ready. However, how long he stays out of foul trouble is the question. Lynch has fouled out of five of his last seven games. 

Sunday's film session with Muller showed Lynch "which ones (fouls) you can eliminate easily by not going for a block or being as aggressive rebounding when I know I can't get it."

"After watching film I know if I just cut those out, which I can easily do, I should be able to stay on the court a lot more," he added. 

Lynch especially wants to stay on the court Tuesday. He will have about 16 family members drive four-plus hours from Minnesota to see the game. That will include his parents, John and Marlene, who haven't seen Lynch play in person this season, and his uncle, Kevin Lynch, a former NBA player.

A year ago at Knapp Center, Lynch responded to his own personal rooting section with 14 points, seven rebounds and four blocks. Although he drew four fouls in that game, Lynch was able to play 24 minutes.

"I'm always excited about playing in front of them (his family)," said Lynch. "I haven't played in front of them since exactly a year ago. It will be fun to see them again." 

Drake had plenty of fun against Indiana State. The Bulldogs made 12 of 17 3-point attempts, the fifth highest percentage (.706) in school history.

Senior guard Gary Ricks, Jr., bagged seven 3-pointers and scored 23 points while being named MVC Player of the Week. Ricks also scored a season-high 24 points in a 50-47 loss at Loyola three days earlier.

"It's funny what knocking some shots down can do for a team," said Drake coach Ray Giacoletti. "It put us in a position with a chance to win on the road and come back and play well at home. Knocking shots down covers up lot of warts."

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Reporter

Reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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