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Sunday, November 11, 2007 | Women's Basketball
Illinois State, Indiana State Open Season with Wins
Illinois State opened up the 2007-08 women's basketball season with a 81-68 win at Eastern Illinois on Sunday afternoon while Indiana State was a winner at home over Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Evansville fell at nationally-ranked Michigan State in the second round of the preseason WNIT and Missouri State fell at Texas.
The Redbirds (1-0) used an 18-6 run to start the second half to overcome Eastern Illinois' (0-2) hot first-half shooting (61.9 percent). Leading 41-38 at the intermission, the Redbirds missed their first three field goal attempts in the second half. However, ISU quickly got the hot hand by rattling off an 18-6 run, including six points by Cirone and five more from Tiffany Hudson, to take a 59-44 advantage at the 13:40 mark. Hudson finished the game tying her career-high with 18 points.
ISU maintained its lead and claimed its largest margin of the contest on a Nicolle Lewis basket at 9:43, for a 68-52 lead. EIU used a 6-0 run and a Redbird scoring drought, which included four turnovers, to close the lead to 70-61, with 6:02 on the clock.
Again, the Redbirds answered with a 9-2 run to match their largest lead at 79-63, with less than three minutes remaining. ISU converted 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch to seal the win. In addition to the second half runs, Illinois State used 18 offensive rebounds to post the win, which resulted in 20 second-chance points.
For the first time since the 2005-06 season, ISU begins the year 1-0, while Arkansas-Pine Bluff is 0-1.
The Golden Lions committed 37 fouls in the game and had a pair players reach the foul limit as the Sycamores paraded to the line 47 times in the game. ISU was able to tie a school record by making 41 of those attempts. Conversely, UA-Pine Bluff made just 7-of-16 free throws themselves.
Included in that number is sophomore Maria Olsthoorn, who made her official return to the program by playing in her first regular season game since the Illinois State road contest last season. She left the team mid-year as a freshman to attend to her ailing mother in Newburg, Ind.
Olsthoorn returned with a vengeance by posting 15 points, converting on 11-of-11 attempts from the free throw line. Her 11-of-11 performance at the charity stripe set a career high, and is tied for the fourth-best free throw percentage in a game in the history of the program. Olsthoorn added a trio of assists and three steals to the victorious effort.
Senior center Laura Rudolphi paced the Sycamores with 19 points as she hit 5-of-6 shots from the field, and was perfect from the free throw line as well by hitting 9-of-9.
Also in double figures for the Sycamores were Angela Phillips with 13 and Kelsey Luna with 12.
All 12 players that suited for the Sycamores recorded a least two rebounds as ISU out-boarded the Golden Lions by a 46-39 margin. Leading the way was Kara Schilli with seven boards while Leah Phillips added six.
Indiana State scored 30 of its points in the paint and 41 of its points at the foul line to account for 71 of their 89 points. The Sycamores were 6-of-24 from behind the 3-point line, as Angela Phillips, Leah Phillips and Luna each drilled a pair from downtown.
The Sycamores opened with back-to-back 3-pointers by Luna and Leah Phillips to race out to a quick 6-0 advantage.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff was able to whittle the Sycamore lead down to 14-12 with 12:30 left in the first half on a put-back by Shadae Martin, but the Sycamores embarked on a 10-0 run over the next two minutes, ignited by a triple from Angela Phillips and concluded with a 3-point play from Olsthoorn for a 24-12 advantage with 10:15 left before the break.
Leading 30-18 with 4:55 left in the half, ISU then went on an impressive 13-0 run, all of which were scored either in the paint or at the free throw line. After the run, which included Olsthoorn hitting 6-of-6 shots from the charity stripe, the Sycamores owned a 43-18 advantage with 1:31 left in the half.
ISU owned a 45-19 lead with 21 seconds left, but a 3-point play and another driving lay-up on the next possession by UA-PB’s Delores Hughley pushed the advantage back down to 45-24 at the half.
In the second half, Pine Bluff would get as close as 18 points at 49-31 with 16:41 left in the game, but the Sycamore closed the door on a comeback attempt by scoring the game’s next 15 points over a four minute span to take a commanding 64-31 lead.
The Sycamore lead reached its climax at the 4:49 mark of the second half on the second 3-pointer of the game from Angela Phillips for an 83-46 lead.
Sarah Paul finished off the scoring with a pair of free throws with six seconds left for the 89-55 victory.
Indiana State topped the 80-point mark for the third time in eight season openers under Wiedie. ISU is now 3-4 in lid-lifters under Wiedie.
No. 17 Michigan State 73, Evansville 53
Felke led Evansville with 12 points on the strength of four three-point field goals. Fellow senior Tal Milchan added 10 points off of the UE bench, while junior guard Ashley Austin chipped in 10 points as well.
With the loss, Evansville drops to 1-1 on the season, while Michigan State remains perfect at 2-0. The Purple Aces will return to Preseason WNIT action next weekend in a consolation game. Date, time, and opponent will be announced at a later date.
Texas seized control of the contest with an 18-0 scoring run, aided by a sluggish Missouri State offense that connected on just three of its first 23 field-goal attempts while committing 12 turnovers in the first seven minutes of the ballgame. After a pair of Maggie Dwyer free throws evened the score at 4-4 with 17:37 left on the clock, the Longhorns turned up the defensive pressure over the next four minutes to build a 22-4 advantage. Senior guard Earneisha Bailey, who tallied all eight of her first-half points during the run, knocked down a three-pointer at the 13:00 mark to stretch the UT lead to 19-4, then converted a three-point play on the Horns next offensive possession to push the margin to 18 points.
The Longhorns led by as many as 22 in the first half, before settling for a 41-23 lead at the break. Raven led the way with 11 points for UT, as the Lady Bears turned the ball over 18 times and shot just 24.2 percent (8-of 33) from the floor in the opening half.
Missouri State cut into the Texas lead by scoring the first five points of the second half, pulling to within 41-28 on Tahnee Balerio’s three-pointer from the right wing with 18:41 to play.
But the Longhorns answered at the foul line, hitting 20-of-22 free throws in the second half. Sophomore guard Carla Cortijo converted all seven of her second-half free-throw attempts and finished 10-of-11 from the line.
Raven led a balanced scoring attack with 22 points, while Cortijo added 17 to go along with seven assists. Sophomore Ashley Lindsey chipped in 14 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
2007-08 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL