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Sunday, November 25, 2007 | Women's Basketball
No. 18 DePaul Holds Off Illinois State; Missouri State Falls at UALR
Illinois State suffered its first loss of the season, a five-pointer at home to nationally-ranked DePaul Sunday afternoon at Redbird Arena. The Redbirds were edged 80-75 despite a 25-point effort from Kristi Cirone. In the only other women's non-conference game, UALR held off visiting Missouri State.
With the setback, ISU drops to 4-1 on the season. DePaul improves to 4-0. The Redbirds put three players in double figures, with Tiffany Hudson (13 points) and Maggie Krick (12) joining Cirone. The Blue Demons were led by Allie Quigley and Natasha Williams, who combined to account for 50 percent of DePaul’s scoring (40 points).
ISU shot nearly 43 percent (.429) in the contest, while the Blue Demons tallied a 50 percent shooting mark from the field. The Redbirds out-rebounded DePaul, 43-36.
The Redbirds came out of the gate on a tear, scoring on their first two possessions to claim a 6-4 lead with less than 18 minutes remaining after Cirone converted her second field goal. DePaul called a timeout and answered with a 7-1 spurt over the ensuing 2:25 to take an 11-7 lead at the first media timeout (15:19).
ISU reclaimed the advantage at the 12:23 mark after Krick scored on a drive to the basket, capping off an 8-3 run. Nicolle Lewis and Shala Jackson also tallied field goals in the spree. ISU stretched its advantage to four, 18-14, after Jackson hit a three-pointer, with 10:15 remaining in the opening stanza. But DePaul responded again, recording a 20-10 run over the ensuing five minutes to take its largest lead of nine (34-25) with 4:37 remaining.
The Redbirds fell behind by 10 points twice in the final 2:15, but Cirone scored ISU’s final five points of the half, which included a driving shot as time expired to pull ISU within eight at 41-33 heading into the locker room at halftime. The field goal also gave Cirone 1,000 points for her career; she is the 23rd player in Redbird history to accomplish the feat.
DePaul reclaimed a double-digit (45-35) advantage just over two minutes into the second half, before ISU responded with a 4-0 spurt to pull within four at 45-41, which forced the Blue Demons into their first timeout with 16:12 remaining in the second half. But DePaul quickly responded with an 8-0 spree to take a 53-41 lead with 13:45 remaining. Caprice Smith and Natasha Williams each had two field goals in the stretch.
Both teams traded baskets over the ensuing three-and-a-half minutes, before the Redbirds went on an 8-2 run to pull within 62-60 at the third media timeout of the second half (7:45). Hudson had three field goals in the spurt. The Redbirds tied the game one possession later after Cirone converted her second-consecutive field goal.
DePaul responded with a 7-2 run, after three-straight field goals by Smith, and took a 69-64 lead with 4:50 remaining. The `Birds forced DePaul into a timeout with 4:10 left after Lewis pulled ISU within one possession (69-66). But the Redbirds were held scoreless for nearly the next four minutes, and did not convert another field goal until Hudson hit a three-pointer to pull Illinois State within seven points at 76-69 with 34.2 seconds remaining.
In all, DePaul drained six free throws in the final 46 seconds of the game. But ISU would not go away without a fight, as Cirone hit two three-pointers in the final 13 seconds, helping the Redbirds cut the lead to 79-75 with 8.3 seconds left.
The Lady Bears fell behind by as many as 13 points in the first half, as the Trojans hit 11 of their first 18 field-goal attempts and shot .545 (12-of-22) from the field in the opening stanza.
Missouri State chipped away at the Trojans’ advantage to pull to within seven points on Maggie Dwyer’s three-point field goal with 11:01 to play in the half. But the Trojans’ inside combination of Hughes and Keys scored the next six points to allow UALR to rebuild its double-digit advantage at 26-13.The duo would combine for 19 of UALR’s 35 first-half points.
MSU would trim the margin to 35-31 by intermission, as freshmen Jacque Griggs and Jasmyne Watson, who combined for 15 points in the half, tallied five points apiece in the last five minutes of the period. Watson went 3-of-3 from the field, while Griggs connected on 6-of-7 free-throw attempts in the period, just one game removed from a 1-of-6 shooting performance from the charity stripe in a 74-54 loss at Arkansas State (Nov. 20).
UALR oustcored Missouri State 9-2 to open the second half, as the Lady Bears hit just one of their first nine shots from the floor. The Trojans led by as many as 12 points before MSU cut into the margin, drawing to within 51-46 on Watson’s three-point play with 6:39 left on the clock.
Once again the Trojans were able to answer, this time with a 12-2 scoring spurt, capped by seven straight points from Kim Sitzmann. Her trey from the top of the key with 3:36 to play capped the run and effectively sealed the victory for UALR, which improved to 3-2 on the season.
Hughes led all scorers with 21 points to go along with a team-high 11 rebounds and three blocks. Sitzmann added 17 points and six assists for the Trojans. Keys added a double-double as well, totaling 11 points and 10 boards, while Anshel Cooper also finished in double figures with 11 points.
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