It wasn't as miraculous as Carl Richard's game-winning tip-in from Sunday night, but it was just as thrilling.
Kelly pulled off a couple of filthy crossover moves before flipping in a game-tying lay-up while drawing a foul. Moments later, he hit the game-winning free throw, propelling the Sycamores to a 70-69 victory over MVC power Missouri State in Terre Haute, Ind.
Kelly took the inbounds pass with the Sycamores trailing 69-67 with just under five seconds left to play, but the ensuing free throw was made tougher by a lengthy delay as the officials reviewed just how much time should be put on the clock before he stepped to the line.
"I knew the bucket was good, I knew he had fouled me, I wasn't sure what they were reviewing," Kelly said. "I wasn't sure what they were reviewing. Once I got to the line, I was pretty confident."
The heroics not only snapped MSU's nine-game winning streak, but also pulled surprising ISU into a tie for first in the MVC standings with the Bears at 7-1. Both are now a game ahead of Wichita State, who dropped to 6-2 in league play with a 77-74 home loss to Northern Iowa on Wednesday.
Indiana State has not been atop the Valley standings this late into the season since 2000.
Despite its hot start in the league, ISU still has some critics to win over after blazing through the opening portion of a backloaded MVC slate. Its next five games include two against Wichita State, a trip to Creighton on Jan. 29 and the rematch with MSU in Springfield, Mo., on Feb. 5.
- Missouri Valley Conference