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Saturday, December 30, 2006 | Women's Basketball
Illinois State, Indiana State and UNI Win in MVC Openers
Illinois State, Indiana State and UNI opened up league play on Friday and took the term home court advantage literally. All three games were won by the home team as the Redbirds downed Creighton, UNI topped Bradley and the Sycamores took advantage of preseason favorite Drake. With the wins, Illinois State and Indiana State remain undefeated at home this year.
Sophomore point guard Kristi Cirone poured in a game-high 22 points and dished out five assists to lead
The Redbirds built as large as a 12-point lead in the first half before seeing the Bluejays answer with a late run to pull within five points at halftime. In the second half, ISU built three double-digit leads, only to see Creighton cut the margin to three points with six minutes remaining. But the Redbirds finished the game on a 9-1 run to post the win.
Both teams were held scoreless for the first 2:10, but the Redbirds strung together an ensuing 7-1 spurt to take a six-point lead at the first media timeout (15:55). Krick and Tiffany Hudson each had field goals in the run. The Redbirds claimed their first double-digit advantage (21-10) six minutes later after Lashawn Johnson capped off an 8-1 ISU spurt with a transition lay-up. Nicolle Lewis also had five points in the stretch.
Creighton finished the half on a 16-7 run, and pulled within five, 35-30, at the intermission. Chevelle Herring, Sam Schuett, Megan Neuvirth and Ally Thrall all had field goals to jumpstart the Bluejay rally. The Redbirds tallied just two field goals in the final five minutes of the frame. Hudson and Lewis both finished the half with a team-high seven points to lead ISU’s offensive output. Creighton was paced by Kristina Voss’ nine points on 3-of-4 shooting.
Herring single-handedly kept the Bluejays in the game over the ensuing five minutes, as she scored seven quick points to help trim the Redbird lead to three, 61-58. But she made an early exit, fouling out with 4:00 left after Cirone drew a charge.
The Redbirds took advantage down the stretch, finishing the game on an 8-1 spurt in the final 4:01. Cirone had six of those points, including hitting two consecutive free throws with 2:24 remaining to give the `Birds a commanding nine-point (68-59) lead.
The Redbirds return to action on Sunday, when they host MVC preseason favorite Drake at Redbird Arena in a New Year’s Eve matinee. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:05 p.m.
UNI 74, Bradley 47
Amy Peters led Bradley (4-8, 0-1 MVC) with 12 points, and Devyn Flanagan added 11.
The Panthers scored on five straight possessions to build an 11-4 lead early in the first half. A free-throw from King stretched the Panther lead to nine, 15-6 with 15:04 on the clock.
The Braves responded with the next four points to trim the UNI lead to five, 15-10 at 13:37, but UNI answered with a 10-0 run over the next four minutes that gave the Panthers a 15-point lead, 25-10 with 9:31 to play. The Panthers led by as many as 17 points through the rest of the half, and took a 34-21 lead into the break.
Clausen scored the first five points of the second half to stretch UNI's lead to 18, 39-21 with 18:32 to play.
A layup by Flanagan with 12:37 remaining trimmed the Braves' deficit to 13, 44-31, but the Panthers outscored Bradley 9-2 over the next three minutes to take a 20-point lead, 53-33 with 8:37 to play.
The Panthers would go on to lead by as many as 28 points on the way to the win.
UNI shot 28-of-53 (52.8 percent) from the floor, including 7-of-15 (46.7 percent) from three-point range. UNI finished 11-of-20 (55 percent) from the free-throw line.
Bradley finished 19-of-61 (31.1 percent) from the floor, and the Braves shot 2-of-14 (14.3 percent) from three-point range. The Braves were 7-of-10 (70 percent) from the free-throw line.
The Panthers finished with a season-high nine blocked shots, led by Traci Ollendieck who had four. The Panthers had 22 assists in the win. Bradley held the rebounding advantage, 38-35.
UNI will look to continue its win streak on Jan. 4 when it plays at Creighton in its first conference road game of the season.
Indiana State senior Rachel Maenpaa scored a career high 25 points and pulled down nine rebounds as the Sycamores opened defense of their Missouri Valley Conference championship with a 84-67 victory over the visiting Drake Lady Bulldogs Friday night in Hulman Center. It was the second straight 20 point performance for Maenpaa, who had 23 against Vanderbilt, and her fifth time this season she has scored in double figures. She hit 10 field goals in a game for the third time this season.
Kelsey Luna had her seventh double figure scoring game of the season and third straight as the freshman guard came off the bench to score 14 points. Laura Rudolphi had 13 points and Angela Phillips 12. Rudolphi moved into fifth-place on the all-time blocked shot list early in the second half. Rudolphi had a pair of blocks within a minute of each other to give her 75 blocks in her career.
Drake, the preseason favorite to win the MVC title this year, led only twice in the game and both early in the first half. Maria Olsthoorn started an 11-3 ISU run with a pair of free throws with 16:27 left in the first half that put ISU in front for good.
The Lady Sycamores led by as many as 15 points in the opening half, taking a 32-17 lead after a Luna three pointer with 5:47 left. But then ISU went cold from the field and Drake took advantage with a 12-1 run that cut the Lady Sycamore lead to four, 33-29. But ISU regained their composure in the final two minutes, Leah Phillips scoring on a fast break and Rachel Maenpaa going inside for two as the Lady Sycamores took a 38-31 lead at the intermission.
Drake kept the game close through the first eight minutes of the second half but then ISU went on a 15-0 run that put the Lady Sycamores on top 67-45 with 9:00 left in regulation. ISU had their biggest lead at 26 points, 80-54, with 4:30 left.
2006-07 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL