Shooting Woes Hurt Redbirds in Loss to Wolverines
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.