Redbirds Fall in First Round of MVC Tournament for Second Straight Year
ST. CHARLES, MO—The Redbird women’s basketball team repeated history as they fell to the Drake Bulldogs (17-14, 9-9) 56 to 54 in the quarterfinals of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, this is the second consecutive year the Redbirds were seeded 2nd and lost to the 7 seeded team.
Despite 20 total points by senior Katie Broadway, the ‘Birds were not able to stop the Jackie Stiles MVC player of the year Rachael Hackbarth. Hackbarth finished the game with 20 points, while playing all 40 minutes of the game.
The Bulldogs stayed even with the Redbirds for most of the first half, until Broadway took control. The Redbirds led at halftime 27-25 and boasted a 17-2 record when leading at half this season. The Redbirds also had a record of 11-4 when scoring first.
Redbird-guard Jamie Russell led the team’s defense with five total steals. Her offense did not show up though as she only finished with six points.
Head coach Stephanie Glance is in her second year as the Redbird head coach and she is now 0-2 in the Missouri Valley Tournament.
Glance said, “I think some of our youth and having not been here before showed up today.”
This Redbird team only has one senior on the roster, that being Katie Broadway, Broadway has been the heart and soul of this team for the past two seasons, and she reflected on her career as a Redbird.
“It’s been a great career,” said Broadway. “It’s been fun playing for these girls.”
Broadway’s career is not officially over yet as the Redbirds hope to make postseason play, by accepting a bid to the National Invitational Tournament.
Drake guard Kyndal Clark went 4-12 from the field in the game, but her name will always be brought up as the freshman who made the game winning basket. Clark dribbled around the Redbird defense and converted on a lay-up with just eight seconds left.
The Redbirds looked unorganized in the last seconds of the game and looked to Broadway to make the last second shot. Broadway tried passing the ball to Candance Sykes, who finished with a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, but she fumbled the ball as time expired.
When asked about her decision to pass the ball in the final possession Broadway said, “That play will stick in my mind for a while.”
The Drake Bulldogs move on into the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, and will await the winner of the night game between the 3rd seeded Wichita State and the 6th seed Indiana State.
As for Illinois State, their future is unknown as they will await the call to compete in their 3rd consecutive NIT.