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Saturday, January 06, 2007 | Women's Basketball
Illinois State and UNI Remain Undefeated WIth League Wins; Southern Illinois and Creighton also Victorious
Illinois State and UNI remain undefeated in Missouri Valley Conference play as the Redbirds battled to a win over UE Saturday, iimproving to 4-0 in league play. In other action, UNI improved to 3-0 in the Valley with a win over Drake while Southern Illinois rallied to defeat Indiana State at home and Creighton picked up its first league victory, over Bradley.
The Bluejays (4-11, 1-3 MVC) came out of the gates sluggish, making just 2-of-9 shots to start the game, while falling behind 11-4 to the Braves (4-9, 0-2 MVC). CU snapped out of its funk to go on a 16-1 run and claim a 20-12 lead. Ally Thrall’s three-pointer with 4:54 to play in the opening half gave the Jays a 27-17 lead, but the Braves responded. A 12-4 BU run got the Braves within two before a Kristina Voss jumper sent the Jays into halftime up 33-29.
Creighton steadily built its lead in the second half, with its largest lead of the game coming after Cain made a jumper with 12:55 to play to give the Jays a 48-35 advantage. The Braves did not back down however, using a 12-5 run late in the game to get within one of the Jays, 64-63, with just over two minutes to play.
Cain responded with a three-point play with a Schuett assist on CU’s next trip down the floor and the Braves would not get within four again after that sequence. Schuett went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in the final minute to pad the Jays’ 10-point win. The Jays shot 52.2 percent from the field in the second half.
Schuett’s 12 rebounds were the most by a Bluejay this season, as the rookie out of Omaha Millard West became the first CU freshman to record a double-double since Angie Janis on March 25, 2003. Cain made 8-of-12 field goals and went 3-for-3 at the free-throw line to total her career-best 19 points in just 19 minutes of play.
Michelle Kaus (14) and Chevelle Herring (13) added double figures for CU as well. Kaus made 4-of-9 three-point attempts, while Herring was 5-for-6 at the line. Seven of the eight Bluejays that played dished at least two assists, led by Thrall’s five helpers, as CU tied its season high with 17 assists.
Bradley also had four players in double figures, led by Erika Nelson’s 18. Devyn Flanagan added 14, Amy Peters 11 and Ashley Chelleen 10. Peters led the Braves with nine boards and Flanagan tied Jen Brown for team-high honors with five assists.
After shooting below 50 percent at the free-throw line in Thursday’s three-point loss to UNI, the Jays made 16-of-21 free-throws (76.2) in Saturday’s win.
Illinois State 89, Evansville 81
The Redbirds, who shot 63 percent from the floor on Thursday in an 84-72 victory at Southern Illinois, knocked down 33-of-64 shots on Saturday to hand Evansville its first MVC loss of the 2006-07 season. Sophomore point guard Kristi Cirone scored a game-high 27 points to lead four Redbirds in double-figures.
Illinois State used a key 10-2 run late in the first half to take control of a back-and-forth contest. With the score tied 26-26 with under seven minutes to go in the first half, the Redbirds rattled off 10 points in a span of 1:43 to grab an eight-point lead it would never lose. Senior guard Megan McCracken began the run with a three-pointer from the left wing with 6:10 to play in the half.
Center Lashawn Johnson then scored a pair of lay-ups around a Robyn Jennings’ lay-up to give ISU a 33-28 lead with 4:48 left before the half. Cirone then worked an old-fashioned three-point play with 4:27 to go in the half to give the Redbirds a 36-28 lead.
In the second half, Illinois State would hold a double-digit lead until the final minute of regulation, when lay-ups by junior guard Rebekah Parker and sophomore guard Kate Batey produced the final margin of victory for the Redbirds, 89-81. Parker led a pack of four Purple Aces in double-figures with 19 points, while Jennings added a career-high 16-point effort. Felke (13 points) and senior guard Ashli Senff (11 points) joined them in double-figures.
Rookie forward Kenyatta Shelton joined Cirone in double-figures for Illinois State with 18 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field. McCracken also pitched in 16 points for the Redbirds, while Tiffany Hudson added 15 points and nine assists off of the Illinois State bench. Johnson also added nine points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
With the victory, Illinois State remains undefeated in MVC play at 11-4 overall and 4-0 in the Valley. Evansville, meanwhile, suffers its first Valley defeat of the year, dropping to 10-5 overall and 3-1 in the MVC. The loss snaps a five-game winning streak for UE on the season, and a seven-game homecourt winning streak. Evansville is now 14-2 in its last 16 home games dating back to last year, with both losses coming to Illinois State.
The Salukis, now 7-8 on the season and 3-1 in Missouri Valley Conference play, snapped a 13-game losing streak to the Sycamores (9-6, 2-2) dating back to 2000.
Coming off of a 12-point loss to Illinois State Thursday, Southern was poised to take control, opening the game with 10-2 run capped off by a Debbie Burris three.
The Salukis took their largest lead of the first half, 47-31, with 45 seconds left in the period on another jumper by Burris. The junior finished with 15 and a career-high eight boards, adding two assists, two blocks and two steals.
SIU finished with 47 points in the first half, the most scored in a half this season, taking an 11-point lead (47-36) into the locker room at half time.
There was no let down in the second half for Southern as they burst out to a 53-36 lead on a jumper by Jayme Sweere with 18:44 left to play. The junior guard recorded six points, five boards, four assists and two steals.
Southern held their largest lead of the game, 20, twice. With at 3:53 in the second half, freshman Dana Olsen hit two free throws to put her team up 84-64. Olsen then turned around with a minute and half left to score two more of her game-high 21 points to charge ahead 86-66. The Sycamores hit a 3-pointer before time expired to bring the game to 17 (86-69).
Along with her game-high 21 points, Olsen chipped in six boards, two assists and a steal.
Carlai Moore and Erica Smith scored 14 each, the other two Salukis in double-figures. Moore added four boards, two assists and a steal, while Smith recorded five rebounds, five assists, a block and two steals.
Jasmine Gibson grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds, just missing a double-double by one point, scoring nine.
Southern finished with a season-high 43 boards, out-rebounding Indiana State by 23 (20). That dominance was key, recording 15 of their 21 offensive boards in the second half.
UNI 61, Drake 55
The Panthers were led by seniors Tara King and Sarah Larsen, who finished with 21 and 16 points, respectively. Megan Keefe also scored in double figures, adding 12 points for the Panthers. Larsen led UNI with six rebounds and three assists.
Monique Jones led Drake with 14 points, and Brandy Dahir finished with 13 points. Tori Runner finished with 10 points and nine rebounds for the Bulldogs.
UNI (9-5, 3-0) hit four of its first five shot attempts to build an early 8-2 lead. The Panthers led 10-4 when Drake (5-8, 0-3) went on a 6-0 run to tie the game at 10 with 12:40 on the clock.
With the teams tied at 12, Tara King hit a three from the right side to put UNI up 15-12 with 8:47 to play. A basket from Brandy Dahir and a pair of free throws from Tori Runner gave Drake its first lead of the game, 16-15 with 7:30 left in the half. Jessie Biggs returned the lead to UNI with a pair of free throws then stretched the Panther advantage to three, 19-16 with 5:45 to play.
Drake responded with another 4-0 run to regain the lead, 20-19 at 4:17. Alexa Mennen tied the game at 20 with a free throw at 3:32.
Kelsey Keizer put the Bulldogs back in front when she drove for a layup with 1:16 on the clock. She was fouled on the shot, and the free throw put Drake up 23-20, which would go on to be the halftime score.
Drake scored the first four points of the second half to extend its run to 7-0 and take a 27-20 lead with 17:14. King hit a jump shot as she was fouled, and she made the free throw to pull UNI back within four, 27-23 with 17 minutes to play. Lauren Dybing scored a minute later to put Drake back up by six, 29-23.
A jump shot from King pulled UNI within four, and on UNI's next possession Sarah Larsen drove the lane and was fouled as she hit a layup. The senior completed the old-fashioned three-point play to cut the Panther deficit to one. Following UNI's third straight defensive stop, King banked in a 15-foot jump shot to put the Panthers on top, 30-29 with 13:54 to play. Megan Keefe scored with 12:40 remaining to extend UNI's lead to three, 32-29, but Drake's Lindsay Whorton hit a three to knot the game at 32 at the 11:50 mark.
Mennen hit a free throw to put the lead back in possession of UNI, 33-32 with 10:54 to play, but Drake scored six quick points to take a 38-33 lead.
Trailing 40-35, Lindsey Swanson was fouled as she drove the baseline and scored. Her free throw rimmed out, but Mennen grabbed the rebound and was fouled. She connected on both free throw attempts to complete a four-point possession by UNI and pull the Panthers to within one, 40-39 at 8:05.
A basket from Dahir put Drake back on top by three, but Larsen connected on a pair of free throws to trim the lead to one once again. Keefe hit a 15-foot jump shot with 5:50 left to put UNI back on top, 43-42.
With the Panthers leading by two, Larsen hit a three from the right side of the key to give UNI a 55-50 advantage with 2:06 on the clock.
Drake pulled within two, 55-53, on a free throw from Tori Runner, but Larsen made it a two-possession game with a layup as the shot clock expired that put UNI up 57-54 with a minute remaining.
Dahir scored with 47 seconds to pull Drake within two. A shot from Larsen hit off the back of the rim, but Mennen grabbed the rebound to give UNI possession with a new shot clock and just 22 seconds remaining.
Larsen put the Panthers up by four when she was hit a pair of free throws with 16 seconds left. Drake came up empty-handed on its end, and King cemented the win with a pair of free throws with 4.3 seconds left to make the final score 61-55.
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