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ILLINOIS STATE BASKETBALL

Illinois State's basketball team to meet LSU in Cayman Islands Classic first-round game on Nov. 21

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Illinois State's Harouna Sissoko, left, tries to get around Loyola forward Aher Uguak during a game last season at Redbird Arena. Sissoko and the Redbird face LSU in a Cayman Islands Classic first-round game on Nov. 21.

NORMAL — The Cayman Islands Classic organizers didn't do Illinois State's basketball team any favors when it announced first-round pairings for the tourney.

The Redbirds, under first-year head coach Ryan Pedon, face LSU on Nov. 21 at 10 a.m. (CT) at John Gray Gymnasium in George Town, Grand Cayman. ISU has never played LSU, a member of the Southeastern Conference.

LSU went 22-12 and lost in an NCAA Tournament first-round game last season. Matt McMahon has taken over as LSU's head coach after guiding Murray State to the NCAA's second round.

KJ Williams, who was Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year with Murray State, has transferred to LSU. Williams contributed 13 points and six rebounds as the Racers downed ISU, 77-65, last season at Redbird Arena.

ISU meets Western Kentucky or Akron in the second round at 10 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 22 before finishing the tourney on Nov. 23 against one of the teams in the other bracket — Kansas State, Rhode Island, Tulane or Nevada.

This will be ISU's second trip to the Cayman Islands Classic. The Redbirds went 2-1 in 2018, including 73-68 victory over Akron. 

Contact Jim Benson at (309) 820-3404. Follow him on Twitter: @Pg_Benson

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