Milik Yarbrough had 18 points, six rebounds and six assists to help Illinois State beat South Carolina 69-65 in Thursday's opening game of the relocated Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Keyshawn Evans added 17 points for the Redbirds (1-1), who frustrated the cold-shooting Gamecocks with their active zone defense and never trailed. Illinois State shot just 36 percent, but made 28 free throws - with 14 from Yarbrough.
Illinois State led by as many as 12 points before halftime and saw the Gamecocks rally to twice tie it before holding on down the stretch. Evans hit a free throw with 4 seconds left to make it a two-possession game and seal the win.
Hassani Gravett had 10 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Gamecocks (2-1), who shot just 30 percent.
The tournament was set for the coastal city of Fajardo, Puerto Rico, but damage from Hurricane Maria forced it to Coastal Carolina in Conway.
The Redbirds will play the Boise State in Friday's winner's bracket at noon.