Jackie Carmichael added 23 points and John Wilkins had 18 for the Redbirds (14-10, 5-7 Missouri Valley), who have won five of their last six games after starting out 0-6 in conference play.
Richard Carter had 17 points and six assists, and Chris Hines scored 16 for Drake (11-12, 5-7), which had defeated the Redbirds 82-77 earlier this year.
Illinois State trailed by 17 points in the first half and didn’t take its first lead until Jon Ekey hit a 3-pointer with 1:44 remaining to put the Redbirds ahead 85-84. That shot came amid 13 straight points by Illinois State that turned an 84-78 deficit into a 91-84 lead with 22 seconds left.
Drake led 51-40 at halftime after hitting 9 of 20 3-pointers in the opening period. The Bulldogs finished 12 of 28 beyond the arc.