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: Carmichael Rejects the Panthers
March 9th, 2013 by Tim Van Duyne
St. Louis – Jackie Carmichael’s defense led the Illinois State Redbirds (18-14) to victory over the the Northern Iowa Panthers (18-14) 73-65 in the quarterfinals of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament Friday night.
On the offensive end, the Redbirds’ were led by their two senior leaders Carmichael and Tyler Brown. Carmichel registered a double-double with 15 points, 10 boards and he even added five block shots. Brown led all scorers with 28 points.
Right out of the gate Brown connected on his first four three-pointers helping ISU get out to a 19-6 advantage. The Redbirds had their largest lead of the game after a Brown 3-pointer with 9:22 in the first half to go up 15. That lead dwindled as Northern Iowa made a run mid-way through the first half. The Panthers were able to battle back from their slow start and went into the locker room with a 35-34 edge over the ‘Birds.
Coming out of the break both teams went back and forth, matching each others play. Around the eight minute mark is where ISU started to pull away. The Redbirds went on a 6-0 run, capped off by a thunderous one-handed dunk by Carmichael to extend their lead to 10 points.
Northern Iowa made another run to get within two of ISU with 4:17 left in the game. Then, in crunch time, Brown hit back-to-back 15-foot jumpers to give ISU a six point lead. That lead was secured by three-consecutive Carmichael rejections on the defensive end. ISU never looked back as they went on to upset the no. 3 seed 73-65 inside the Scottrade Center.
The no. 6 seed ISU advances to play the no. 2 seed Wichita State tomorrow at 4:05 in the semi-final of the MVC tournament.
WZND will have the call starting at 3:50.
Redbirds Fall to Wichita State
February 17th, 2013 by Alex Murphy
The Illinois State Redbirds fell to conference opponent Wichita State 68 to 67 on Sunday at Redbird Arena.
Redbirds Come Back and Beat Creighton
February 10th, 2013 by Jake Oliveri
NORMAL – The Illinois State Redbirds Women’s Basketball team (6-4) defeated the 2nd ranked team of the Missouri Valley Conference, the Creighton Blue Jays (8-2), with a score of 66 to 60 , Sunday, February 10th for the annual Play4Kay game in Redbird Arena. The annual Play 4 Kay game recognized those who fought breast cancer and accepted donations for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
The first half of the game the Redbirds started off strong, but the Blue Jays fought back and finished the first half outscoring with a score of 31 to the Redbirds 25. Keeping the game close was leading scorer for the Redbirds, Alexis Jenkins who contributed 12 points to the team in the first half. Leading for rebounds for the Redbirds in the first half was Jamie Russell with a total of 5 rebounds.
Within the first 9 minutes of the second half, Jamie Russell, for the Redbirds increased her aggressiveness to help give her teammates the drive they needed in order to win. Outscoring in the second half was the Redbirds who pulled off an additional 41 points to the Blue Jays 29 points.
The Redbirds will next face off with the Southern Illinois Salukis this Thursday, February 14th at Redbird Arena. Tip off will be at 7:05 P.M.
Brown, Carmichael score teams last 25 points in victory of Evansville
January 27th, 2013 by Mike Obrien
NORMAL, IL- No buzzer beater was necessary, but Jackie Carmichael and the Illinois state Redbirds (12-9, 3,6) extended their winning streak to 3 games as they handled Evansville 67-62.
The Redbirds were led by senior leaders Jackie Carmichael and Tyler brown who were the only two players on the team to finish in double digits. Brown finished with 23 points, 12 of those coming from the free throw line. Brown seemed to be much more aggressive driving into the basket and drawing the fouls since his perimeter shooting has not been great recently.
Carmichael finished with another double-double with 24 points and 14 total rebounds, 10 in the first half. Carmichael was dominant down low and on the boards which forced Evansville to the double-team.
Browns late free throws and defensive pressure on Evansville star Colt Ryan was the x-factor in tonights game. Ryan was held to just 4 points in the first half and finished with 17 while only shooting 6-15. Head Coach Dan Muller switched up defenders on Ryan with the quickness of Bryant Allen, Kaza Keane, and Anthony Cousin.
The beginning of the game started off with the teams going back and forth with offensive runs, and a low halftime score of 31-22. Up by 9 with under a minute to go, the Aces would refuse to go down quietly as Ned Coz hit a pair of free throws and Lewis Jones nailing a three pointer. Their late run was not enough to comeback against the birds as the Purple Aces now fall to 5-4 in conference.
ISU returns to action Tuesday at Carver Arena to take on in state rival Bradley in the battle for I-74. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:05 in Peoria.
Women’s Basketball Defeats Salukis 89-41
January 19th, 2013 by Maddy Reid
Illinois State controlled the ball for the majority of their game against Southern Illinois this Saturday, January 19th, and the Redbirds come away with a 89-41 win against the Salukis. The Redbirds were successful from the field, shooting 48.4%.
The Salukis won the tip and a basket to start the game well, taking an early 4-1 lead against the Redbirds. Baskets from Maddie Oliver and Jamie Russell quickly gave it right to ISU, the only lead change in the game. Candace Sykes entered the game after 3 minutes and hit a 3-point shot right away to increase the Redbirds’ lead. ISU had a 13-6 lead at the first break in the action.
Towards the end of the first half, the Redbirds continued to keep possession of the ball with defensive rebounds from Janae Smith. Baskets from Candace Sykes and Maddie Oliver kept the Redbirds ahead as they increased their lead to 27 points. Illinois State led the Salukis 45-18 at the end of the first half.
The second half began with Southern Illinois and Illinois State scoring back-and-forth to continuously change the point margin. SIU had a new energy to start the second period. Baskets were distributed between all players on the floor for the Salukis. Despite their opponent’s new energy, the Redbirds were able to continue moving the ball well for the remainder of the second half and almost doubled their point total.
The Redbirds finished the game with a 48-point margin by winning 89-41. Candace Sykes and Maddie Oliver led the team with 19 and 15 points respectively. Azia Washington and Rishonda Napier led the Salukis in scoring with 9 and 8 points. Illinois State was able to outrebound Southern Illinois with 53 rebounds to the Salukis’ 30.
The Redbirds will play Indiana State at home this Friday, January 25th beginning at 7:05pm.
Redbirds Fall at Home 71-57 to Evansville
January 17th, 2013 by Emily Pomorski
Normal- The Redbirds entered Thursday’s game with a 3-1 Missouri Valley Conference record, while the Evansville Purple-Aces had a 2-1 Valley record. Evansville held a 4-10 record for the season, while host ISU entered Thursday night’s game with an overall record of 11-5.
Mallory Ladd led the Purple-Aces in scoring with 18 and added seven boards. Forward Samantha Heck had 16 points and 10 boards. ISU’s Jamie Russell lead all scorers with 24. She also had four rebounds, four assists and four steals in a losing effort.
Evansville came out of the gate scoring the first eight points of the game. Redbird forward, Janae Smith, followed up with her own eight-point run. Smith contributed a swift three-point shot inching the Redbirds into the game. A rebound from guard Jamie Russell, allowed Smith to make another three-pointer, building up a score of 23-25. Entering halftime, the Redbirds were down by two.
At the start of the second half Evansville utilized speed and accuracy in the first three minutes. Alexis Foley put up a three-pointer tying the game at 32. Controlled passing and teamwork of Jenkins and Russell placed ISU up another nine points. Evansville’s Heck, came in strong with a couple layups and a three point shot, in the last 10 minutes. Sykes hit a huge three to cut the lead to nine. A steal by Russell and quick drive to the net allowed a score of 48-61 in the last 4 minutes.
Chealsea Falkenstein contributes a three-point shot for the Purple Aces. Two free throws made by Juliann Miller, allowed the purple aces to leave Redbird Arena with a 71-57 victory.
ISU’s next game is this Saturday against the Southern Illinois Salukis. Full coverage of that game can be heard on 103.3 WZND starting at 4:00 p.m.
Shooting Woes Hurt Redbirds in Loss to Wolverines
December 5th, 2012 by Sean Tipton
NORMAL—The Illinois State Redbird women’s basketball team (4-2) was looking to continue their three game winning streak, when they welcomed the Michigan Wolverines to Doug Collins Court. The Wolverines came into the game with a record of 6-2 and a 3-0 record against ISU in a short history between the two teams. Janae Smith led the Redbirds with 11 points and seven rebounds, but that wasn’t enough to continue their winning streak. After coming out strong in both halves, the Wolverines three point shooting was too much for the Redbirds to handle and they fell to the Wolverines 56-45.
Early in the first half, the Redbird defense was up to the challenge against a much bigger Wolverine team causing five turnovers in the first five minutes of the game. Trying to match a tough defensive effort, the Redbirds struggled from the field halfway through the first half after a quick start. Michigan’s height showed early in the game, doubling up the Redbirds rebound total, 15-7. The Redbirds struggled from three-point line in the first half going 3-11 beyond the arc. Smith led the Redbirds offensively in the first half shooting 50 percent from the field with six points and four rebounds. The Redbirds ended the first half on a 10-2 run to cut the Wolverines lead to two heading into halftime with the score 23-21.
The Redbirds came out of halftime on fire with an 8-2 run early, but Michigan was able to quiet the Redbirds answering with a 9-0 run of their own, regaining the lead. Michigan’s leading scorer, Kate Thompson, was a tough matchup for the Redbirds to handle with 18 points and shooting under 50 percent from the field including 4-9 from behind the arc in the game. The Redbirds had a hard time drawing any fouls all game leading to only cashing in one time out of four trips to the charity stripe late into the second half. A five-minute scoring drought late in the game for the Redbirds let the Wolverines build an 11-point lead that they would not surrender as they would knock down a couple of late free throws to seal the 56-45 victory.
The Redbirds are back in action on Friday December 7th when they finish their Big Ten filled week with a matchup with the Northwestern Wildcats at Redbird Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:05 P.M. Live coverage can be heard on 103.3 WZND or WZND.com.