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Thursday, January 11, 2007 | Women's Basketball
WBB: Redbirds Stay Perfect, Improve to 5-0; UE, SIU and MSU Win
In Missouri Valley Conference women's basketball action on Thursday night, the Illinois State Redbirds improved to 5-0 in league play, the best start ever for the 'Birds in conference action, after their eighth-straight win at home over visiting Wichita State. In other games, Evansville's Robyn Jennings hit a three pointer with 10 seconds in the game to lift the visiting Aces over UNI while Missouri State won its first conference game at Indiana State and Southern Illinois won at Bradley.
Illinois State 87, Wichita State 73
Wichita State’s Antionette Wells and ISU’s Lashawn Johnson were ejected for fighting with 12:54 left. After a tie-up underneath the north basket, a mutual altercation began between the two players, and it was immediately broken up by officials Rich Choponis, Marvin Sykes and Scott Doberstein. But shortly thereafter, Wells went after Johnson near the Redbird bench, and landed a punch. After each player received a technical and personal foul, they were ejected per NCAA rules. A fighting ejection calls for a suspension from the remainder of the game in progress and the ensuing contest, which is this Saturday for both teams.
Illinois State led by as many as 36 points in the first half, and stretched the advantage to as many as 40 points with 17:38 remaining in the second stanza before head coach Robin Pingeton cleared her bench at 10 minutes remaining. The Shockers finished the second half on a 23-12 run to close the scoring gap.
Illinois State put three players in double figures in the first half en route to a season-high 56 points. The Redbirds came out firing, jumping out to a 15-5 advantage in the first three and a half minutes. Johnson, McCracken, Maggie Krick and Kristi Cirone all had field goals in the spurt. The lead was extended to 18 points, 25-7, at the game’s second media timeout (10:59) after three consecutive Redbird field goals.
Wichita State climbed back within 13 (28-15), but an ensuing 12-0 ISU run gave the Redbirds a commanding 40-15 lead with 5:35 remaining in the first frame. Illinois State allowed the Shockers just two field goals in the final nine minutes of the half, opening up as large as a 36-point lead and 56-23 advantage at halftime. McCracken led the ISU offensive attack with 14 points including four three-point field goals, while Cirone and Lewis each scored 12 points. Kyrie Kinder led Wichita State with six points.
Illinois State opened the second half on a 9-2 run over the first two and a half minutes. Lewis had two field goals in the stretch, and Krick added a three-pointer in transition. After a transition layup by Johnson, the Redbirds claimed a 40-point advantage (65-25) with 17:35 left in the game.
After the ejections, Pingeton rotated Tiffany Hudson, Sara Stevenson and Ashleen Bracey into the game, and the trio finished the contest with a combined 28 minutes. In all, 14 Redbird players saw action in the game.
Cirone finished with 15 points to go along with nine assists, and Krick added 11 points. Lori Trumblee chipped in 10 points off the bench. Kiki Stephens led the Wichita State charge with 17 points and eight rebounds.
The Redbirds shot 55 percent for the game, and held a 43-41 rebounding advantage. They scored 17 points off Shocker turnovers.
Southern Illinois 64, Bradley 40
The Salukis (8-8 overall, 4-1 MVC) forced 14 Bradley turnovers in the first half and took an early 10-point lead just eight minutes into the ball game. The Braves would cut the deficit to three points (22-19) with just over eight minutes to play before the break and SIU held a 28-24 edge at the half.
Bradley trailed 30-27 after the first minute of the second half, before Jayme Sweere connected on back-to-back three-pointers to spark a 14-2 SIU run that pushed the Salukis lead to 44-29 with 14:35 to play. Senior Erika Nelson’s layup with 12:18 to play would trim the SIU lead to 47-34. That would be as close as the Braves would get as Bradley went cold from the field, missing 13 consecutive shots and committing five turnovers during the next 11:40 of play during a 17-4 Saluki run that put SIU ahead 64-38. Junior Felicia Nekmouche’s basket with 35.5 seconds on the clock ended the long drought from the field.
The Salukis entered the game with the top field goal percentage in the MVC (48 percent), but the Braves turned in a solid defensive effort, holding SIU to its lowest field goal percentage of the season (39.1). After shooting 52.6 percent in the first half, Bradley struggled offensively in the second half of play, connecting on just four field goals and shooting 18.2 percent (4-for-22) from the field in the final 20 minutes.
The Braves committed a season-high 25 turnovers and forced a season-low nine turnovers for their opponent. Southern Illinois took advantage of the Bradley miscues, coming away with 18 steals and posting a 27-4 edge in points off turnovers.
Nelson was the only Bradley player in double figures, finishing the night with 14 to go along with two assists and two steals. Junior Devyn Flanagan added nine points and was the only other Brave to score more than six points.
Sweere led Southern Illinois with a game-high 20 points and also added seven rebounds and seven steals. Carlai Moore, the Salukis leading scorer averaging 16.1 points per game, was limited to 12 points, but added six boards, four assists and a blocked shot.
Evansville 56, UNI 54
Jennings took a pass from junior guard Rebekah Parker with the shot clock winding down and knocked down a three-pointer from the top of the arc with 10.7 seconds to play. Northern Iowa then had a chance to tie the game on the next possession, but the Panthers never got a shot off, as Parker swiped her sixth steal of the game to seal UE’s victory and snap a seven-game winning streak by UNI.
Evansville overcame a defensive first half which saw only 43 total points scored between the two teams by scoring 10 of the second half’s first 12 points to take a 32-25 lead with 17:06 to play. From there, Evansville would hold between a four and 11-point lead until UNI used a 10-1 run to tie the game at 50-50 with 3:47 to play on a Tara King three-pointer.
UNI’s Megan Keefe would give the Panthers just their second lead of the second half on a lay-up with 3:06 to play to move the score to 52-50. UE sophomore guard Ashley Austin would quickly respond with a pair of free throws 16 seconds later to tie the game at 52-52.
The score would remain tied at 52-52 until just 56 seconds remained, when King knocked down a baseline jumper to give the Panthers a 54-52 lead. Evansville tried to respond with an Ashli Senff lay-up on the next possession, but it came up strong. Fortunately for UE, though, sophomore forward Shannon Novosel cleared the offensive rebound for her sixth offensive board of the game. Novosel and Jennings both pulled down eight rebounds apiece to help Evansville to a 43-35 edge on the glass.
Austin led Evansville with 10 points, while King scored a game-high 24 points for UNI. Parker, Jennings, and Senff all added eight points apiece for UE.
With the victory, Evansville improves to 11-5 overall and 4-1 in the MVC. UNI, meanwhile, falls to 9-6 overall and 3-1 in the Valley.
Missouri State 83, Indiana State 76
The Indiana State University Lady Sycamores dropped their third straight game and their first of the season on the home court Thursday night as the Missouri State Lady Bears rallied in the second half to defeat ISU 83-76.
It was the first home loss of the season for Indiana State, who falls to 9-7 overall and 2-3 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL ARCHIVES