Illinois State Hires Smith as Head Women’s Basketball Coach
April 15th, 2013 by Tim Van Duyne
NORMAL- The Kaufman football building on the campus of Illinois State was packed to see ISU Athletic Director Gary Friedman introduce the seventh women’s head basketball coach in school history. Illinois State hired Barb Smith to replace former head coach Stephanie Glance on Sunday.
Smith has been involved in division-one women’s basketball for 26 years. She has been a head coach once before at San Diego State from 1997-2002. Smith has been an assistant coach at five different schools, her last stop being at Saint Louis University last season.
Smith is considered as a prominent recruiter. She has over ten top-20 nationally-ranked classes.
“I’m going to recruit hard work and character,” Smith said.
Sometimes when a coaching change takes place massive change occurs systematically. But it Smith will try to run a similar style of up-tempo offense that ISU ran last season. As far as tempo goes on offense and defense, Smith wants to keep the pressure on the opposing team at all times.
Smith’s three keys for success are team, effort and attitude.
Smith takes over for Glance, who resigned earlier this month. Glance left for a head coaching position at Columbia. In Glance’s three years at ISU, she coached three 20-win teams and had three WNIT appearances.
Redbird Softball Concludes Non-Conference Play Against DePaul
April 9th, 2013 by Tim Van Duyne
NORMAL – The Illinois State softball team (17-15) begins its stretch of six games in six days today in Chicago. The Redbirds will wrap up their regular season non-conference schedule against the DePaul Blue Demons (23-13).
The Redbirds are running into a hot Blue Demon squad. In its last four games DePaul has scored 60 runs, all resulting in run-rule victories.
ISU is coming off its first Missouri Valley Conference series win (2-1) this weekend against Missouri State. The Redbirds swept the weekly conference awards. Senior catcher Elizabeth Kay received player of the week for the fourth time this year, and junior Taylor Baxter received pitcher of the week honors for the first time in her career.
After ISU’s trip to Chicago Tuesday, they will come back home for a make-up double-header against the Bradley Braves on Thursday. Then Saturday the team will head to Des Moines, Iowa for a three game series against Drake.
The Redbirds and the Blue Demons have a first pitch set for 4:00 p.m. C.T. at Cacciatore Stadium in Chicago today.
ISU Advances in WNIT After Big Second Half
March 21st, 2013 by Tim Van Duyne
NORMAL – The Illinois State Redbirds women’s basketball team took over in the second half en route to a 63-47 victory over Indinia University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Thursday night at Redbird Arena.
The Redbirds were led by Senior forward Candace Sykes and Sophopmore foward Janae Smith. Sykes came off the bench for the ‘Birds scoring a team high 15 on 5-12 shooting. Smith also scored 15 for ISU, and she added five rebounds. Jamie Russell was the only other Redbird in double figures scoring 12 points.
DeAirra Goss, the Junior forward for the Jaguars, led all scorers with 17 points on 8-12 shooting. Second in scoring for IUPUI was Senior forward Kerah Nelson with 13 points.
The Redbirds started the game with sloppy play. They turned the ball over five times in the first three minutes to fall behind IUPUI 6-0. The ‘Birds finally got on the scoreboard after a Russell runner with three minutes into the game. Sykes provided some offense off the bench connecting on three three-pointers in the first half.
IUPUI created much of its offense in the first half off of turnovers. The Jaguars scored 14 points off 15 ISU turnovers. On offense the Jaguars were lead by Nelson and Goss both with seven first-half points. IUPUI was hot from behind the arc, shooting 4-6 from three-point range.
Despite 15 first half turnovers, the Redbirds went into the break tied with the Jaguars 25-25.
Coming out of the break ISU took an early nine-point advantage because of the play by its front court. In the first five minutes of the second half, Janae Smith and Brianna Puni both scored a quick six points each to pad ISU’s lead.
Midway through the second half, IUPUI went scoreless for almost six minutes. The Jaguar drought let ISU extend its lead to 16 with nine minutes to play. The Redbirds never looked back from that point, as their defense only allowed the Jaguars 22 second-half points.
The Redbirds outscored the Jaguars 38-22 in the second half and cruised to a 63-47 victory over IUPUI.
The next opponent ISU will face in the second round of the WNIT is Kansas State. The second round match-up between the Redbirds and Wildcats will be played Monday March 25 at 7:00 p.m. CT.
Redbirds Make MVC Tournament Championship
March 17th, 2013 by Ronnie Szudarski
The Illinois State Women’s Basketball team will be headed back to the Missouri Valley Conference Championship game for the first time in 5 years. It took an overtime period but the ‘Birds were able to defeat the number two seeded Creighton Bluejays in the semi-finals. Candace Sykes led the way for ‘Birds recording her second straight double-double, scoring 18 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
ISU jumped out to an early 5-0 lead but Creighton responded scoring four quick points to get to within one. That was as close as the Bluejays would get in the first half as the two teams traded buckets until about six minutes to go in the half. The Redbirds were up by two before going on a 14 to 5 run to end the half and lead by 11.
In the second half Creighton looked like a completely different team as they found their shooting stroke from behind the arc. The Bluejays started the half shooting a ridiculous 4-5 from behind the arc as they proceeded to go on a 24-6 run to open the second half and take their first lead of the night by a score of 42-37.
Creighton would extend their lead to nine points, with a 55-46 lead, before the Redbirds battled back. Creighton would go ice cold after their hot start to the second half failing to score in the final 5:20 of the game. The birds would go on a 9 to 0 run to end regulation and send the game into overtime as both teams failed to score in the final two minutes of the game.
In overtime both teams struggled to score until Candace Sykes hit a 3-pointer and drew a foul with just under three minutes left, but she would miss the free throw attempt. The ‘Birds would not give up the lead for the rest of the game as Creighton got the lead down to one a couple different times. Good free throw shooting down the stretch helped the Redbirds go on to a 64-61 victory.
ISU Ends Tournament Drought
March 16th, 2013 by Ronnie Szudarski
In a game where both teams struggled shooting the ball it was the defense that propelled ISU Women’s Basketball Team to victory over the Bradley Braves. This is the first time in four years that the Redbirds were able to advance past the quarter finals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
The Braves took an early 10-8 lead and eventually went up 15-9 as ISU went almost 6 minutes without a basket. Janae Smith carried the Redbirds early on with six quick points before a crucial time out. With about 10 minutes left in the first half Head Coach Stephanie Glance called a timeout that seemed to spark the redbirds as the preceded to go on a 17-1 run to end the half leading by 10.
In the second half Jamie Russell traded baskets with Katie Yohn of the Braves as the two players finally found their shooting stroke. The two teams went back and forth with the Redbirds maintaining a comfortable lead until the final minutes of the game.
Bradley finally found a way to slow down Russell and the Birds as they got to within two points with about two minutes left. However, as the Birds have done all season, they locked down defensively and forced the Braves into tough shots that just wouldn’t fall. Bradley was forced to foul down the stretch which allowed the birds to build the lead back up and win by the final score of 59-48.
Redbirds fall to #5 Louisville 69-66
December 2nd, 2012 by Mike Obrien
The Illinois State Redbirds (5-2) fell to the 5th ranked Louisville Cardinals Saturday at the KFC Yum Center 69-66.
The redbirds were in control and leading for most of the game but Louisville’s offense seemed too much for ISU to handle. The ‘Birds outscored the Cardinals 33-25 in the first half and got outscored 44-33 in the second. Tyler Brown led all scorers with 25 points shooting 3-8 from three point range.
Jackie Carmichael was just one rebound away from another double-double as he finished with 20 points and 9 rebounds. Brown and Carmichael were the only two redbirds to finish with double digit efforts, Johnny Hill finished with 8.
The leading scorer for the Cardinals was Russ Smith who finished with 24 points as his cardinals out rebounded the redbirds 30-27 despite Louisville’s 14-25 effort from the free-throw line.
Depth on offense was a problem from the redbirds as the bench players they have relied on were not able to overcome tough Cardinal defense. Anthony Cousin split time with Johnny Hill due to an injury for freshman Kaza Keane, Keane did not play in the game.
Sharpshooters Bryant Allen and Nick Zeisloft shot only 2-7 combined from behind the arc and the only other scoring came from John Wilkins who finished with 3.
The redbirds next game is against Wyoming on Tuesday in Normal, tip-off is set for 7:05.
Redbirds Pull off Comeback Win
October 13th, 2012 by Andy Rzeczkowski
NORMAL– The Illinois State Football team had its toughest test of the season hosting the #8 ranked Youngstown State Penguins Saturday afternoon at Hancock Stadium. The team overcame a 21 point first half deficit to score 28 unanswered points en route to a 35-28 win.
Senior quarterback Matt Brown led the Redbirds in the thrilling comeback victory throwing for 275 yards and three touchdowns as well as rushing for one touchdown.
Youngstown state opened up the game with a score on their first drive, making it 7-0 on a run from Jamaine Cook, in favor of the penguins with just five minutes gone in the first quarter.
The Penguin defense forced ISU to go three and out on their first drive then their offense marched down the field 85 yards to go up 14-0.
ISU went 51 yards in six plays to get back in the game with a Darrelynn Dunn touchdown to cap off the drive. At the end of the first quarter the Redbirds trailed 14-7 to the Penguins.
Youngstown State opened up the second quarter with a four and a half minute drive moving the ball 75 yards and increasing their lead to two scores with 12 minutes left in the first half. Jamaine Cook scored his third touchdown in the first half to put the Penguins up 28-7 with almost 10:00 left in the second quarter. Cook would finish the game with a total of 177 rushing yards .
Brown threw for a touchdown with just :32 seconds left in the half to give the birds a little momentum heading into halftime, making the score 28-14 Youngstown State.
Illinois State scored on the opening drive of the second half on a 16 yard pass from Brown to receiver Donovan Harden.
Senior wide out Tyrone Walker caught a touchdown pass to draw the Redbirds even 28 all with 10:36 left in the game.
The ISU defense made a crucial stop on fourth down when Youngstown State quarterback Kurt Hess missed his receiver giving the Birds all the momentum. ISU came out and ran trick play, as wide-receiver Phil Dudley completed a 50 yard pass to Lechein Neblett down to the two yard line. Illinois State’s Matt Brown then leaped into the end zone to put the Redbirds up 35-28.
Colton Underwood helped to close the game out with a vital sack with just over a minute left in the fourth quarter.
February 28th, 2011 by Joe Brand
Redbird Basketball is back!
103.3 WZND is ready for all Illinois State athletics, but be sure to tune in to the Red Zone every Thursday night at 6:30 for the latest sports updates. WZND will bring you live coverage of every home Redbird Football game during the 2012 season
Thanks to Avanti’s Restaurant for its’ sponsorship of Redbird Football, and also to our listeners for tuning in to all the great moments from ISU football and basketball, only on WZND – the Pulse of Redbird Nation!