Illinois State, Drake Set Up Showdown; Indiana State Rebounds With Win
IllinoisState stretched its Missouri Valley Conference women’s basketball winning streak to seven games, its road winning streak to 11 and its overall streak to 13 games on Sunday afternoon with a 71-55 win at WichitaState.The Redbirds’ (17-1, 7-0 MVC) win, combined with Drake’s (13-5, 6-1 MVC) 66-63 home win over UNI on a buzzer-beating three from Jordann Plummer, sets up a 1st-2nd showdown next Thursday in Normal, Ill.IndianaState bounced back from a Friday loss to take a 78-55 win over MissouriState.
IllinoisState 71, WichitaState 53
WICHITA, Kan. The road has a been a comfortable place for the IllinoisState women’s basketball team this season. The Redbirds (17-1, 7-0 MVC) beat WichitaState (7-13, 1-7 MVC), 71-53, on Sunday, Jan. 27. ISU tied the school record with its 11th-straight road victory and extended its overall winning streak to 13 games, which is tied for the second-longest all-time. The last time the Redbirds won 11-straight road contests was 1983-84 and their last 13-game winning streak came in 1980-81.
IllinoisState led the entire game and had four players score in double figures for the seventh time this season. Junior guard Kristi Cirone led the way with 15 points and seven assists. Sophomore center Nicolle Lewis and sophomore guard Maggie Krick each added 11 points and sophomore forward Ashleen Bracey chipped in 10. Lewis also led the Redbirds with nine rebounds and 3 blocks. Bracey had eight rebounds and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line, both career-high marks.
IllinoisState dominated down low, holding a 36-16 advantage in points in the paint over the Shockers. WichitaState committed 18 turnovers, which turned into 25 points for ISU.
Cirone made a free throw nine seconds into the action and the Redbirds didn’t trail the entire half after that. The Redbirds maintained a one-point edge for the first three minutes before they scored 10 unanswered points to take a double-digit lead, 17-6. ISU forced four turnovers and had three fastbreak layups on the run, including a behind the back pass from Cirone to Krickduring a two-on-one break. IllinoisState had six assists on its first seven field goals of the game.
A three-pointer by DeGarmo snapped a WichitaState scoreless streak of 4:40 and started a string of seven-straight points for the Shockers that cut the deficit down to 17-13. The Redbirds came right back a 15-1 run to take their biggest lead of the half, 32-14.
WichitaState went eight minutes without a field goal during the ISU run, but outscored the Redbirds 9-3 in the final 3:35 of the opening frame. The Shockers still trailed by double-digits at halftime, 35-23. IllinoisState forced 11 turnovers in the first half, including seven steals, and scored 16 points as a result of those turnovers
The Shockers managed to pull within 10 points at the 17:48 mark of the second half, but their offense came to a halt at that point. Over the next nine minutes, WichitaState scored just eight points on 1-of-9 shooting from the field and committed three turnovers. The Redbirds maintained a comfortable lead over that stretch and were on top 52-36 with less than nine minutes remaining.
After ISU made just one three-pointer in its first 11 attempts, Cirone and Krick each made threes on consecutive possessions to extend the lead to 60-42. WichitaState struggled to put points on the board on consecutive possessions and was unable to come any closer than 13 points. After three-consecutive free throws by sophomore forward Kenyatta Shelton and a three-pointer by junior guard Ashley Sandstead, the Redbirds went ahead by 20 points for the first time, 67-46.
IllinoisState hosts Drake on Thursday, Jan. 31, at 7:05 p.m.
Drake 66, UNI 63
DES MOINES, IOWA A three-pointer as time expired from sophomore Jordann Plummer (St. Louis, Mo./Cardinal Ritter) propelled Drake to a 66-63 victory over in-state rival Northern Iowa on Sunday (Jan. 27) to help the Bulldogs extend their home-court winning streak to five and in the process snap a six-game slide to Big Four opponents.
The basket was the only one in the affair for Plummer, who helped Drake improve to 13-5 overall, including 6-1 in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Panthers dropped to 6-12 on the year and 2-5 in league action with the setback. The victory for the Bulldogs allowed the squad to surpass their conference win total (5) for the entire 2006-07 campaign.
The game came down to the wire as the Panthers held the Bulldogs scoreless for 5:49 and parlayed an 8-0 run to overcome a 61-54 deficit to take the lead, 62-61, with layup by Lizzie Boeck with exactly two minutes remaining.
Senior Lindsay Whorton (Independence, Mo./Truman) put Drake back on top, 63-62, connecting on a jumper with 1:03 left.
Danielle Wubbens missed a jumper with 43 seconds remaining, which senior Jill Martin (Norwalk, Iowa/Norwalk) corralled for the defensive rebound. Martin was whistled for a traveling violation as she fell to the floor pulling down the rebound, which gave the ball right back to Northern Iowa.
The Panthers missed two attempts at the basket before Plummer bailed out Boeck on a foul. She missed the front end of two tosses before hitting her second shot to tie the contest at 63 with 17 seconds remaining.
The Bulldogs brought the ball up the floor with Martin passing the ball as a double-team collapsed on her to Plummer for the game-winner.
Drake finished the game shooting 39.3 percent from the floor, while Northern Iowa bettered that mark connecting on 41.3 percent of its attempts.
The contest was a battle throughout as there were eight ties and 22 lead changes.
Martin finished the affair with a 17-point, 11-rebound effort to record her league-leading sixth double-double of the year and 32nd of her career, tops among active players in the MVC. Whorton and junior Lauren Dybing (Bloomington, Minn./St. Croix Lutheran) each contributed 15 points to the Drake victory.
Boeck paced the Panthers with a 17-point, seven-rebound effort, while Jacqui Kalin joined her in double-figures with 14 points.
The Bulldogs were outrebounded by Northern Iowa, 42-39, while Drake took care of the basketball, committing a season-low 10 turnovers.
The much-anticipated showdown between the top two teams in the MVC awaits as the Bulldogs travel to Normal, Ill., to tangle with league-leading IllinoisState in a 7:05 p.m. game on Thursday (Jan. 31). The Redbirds come into the contest at 17-1 overall, including 7-0 in league action.
IndianaState 78, MissouriState 55
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Seniors Angela Phillips and Laura Rudolphi led IndianaState to its second consecutive victory over Missouri State, 78-55, in front of 5,429 loyal fans at HammonsStudentCenter on Sunday (Jan. 29) afternoon. The game marked the final time the Sycamores will appear at Hammons, as the Lady Bears will move to the new JQH Arena next season.
ISU improved to 9-8, 3-4 MVC while MissouriState fell to 6-13, 4-4 MVC.
Angela Phillips connected on six 3-pointers in the game to pace the team with 20 points. Phillips pulled the hot trigger on four trifectias in the first half as the Sycamores raced out to a 37-24 lead at the break.
Rudolphi was right behind Phillips with 19 points, but it was a milestone game for her as she eclipsed the 1,000 career point mark in the first half. She is the 21st Sycamores in the history of the program to join the 1,000 point club.
IndianaState raced out to a 14-3 lead behind a pair of 3-pointers from Angela Phillips and six quick points from Rudolphi.
The Lady Bears cut the Sycamore advantage to just three points at 23-20 on a fastbreak lay-up by Jackie Griggs with left before the break. The Sycamores were able to finish the final four and half minutes of the first half on a 14-4 run to take a 37-24 halftime lead.
The highlight of the first half came with left before intermission as Rudolphi scored her 1,000th career point on a bucket to break a four minute dry spell in the scoring column. After scoring her 1,000 point, Rudolphi came right back with another score on the next possession to stake the Sycamores to a 25-20 lead with left.
The Sycamores were able extend their halftime lead out to 19 points right out of the second half gate on a 3-pointer by Kelsey Luna and three foul shots from Annie Bankhead for a 43-24 lead with 19 minutes left in the game.
A running jumper by Tahnee Balerio with 12:33 left in the game cut the Sycamore lead down to a second half low of 15 points at 57-42. It would mark the final field goal the Lady Bears would score until Tiff Terwelp’s lay-up with left in the game. During that stretch the Sycamores were able to hold the Lady Bears to just seven free throws as the lead ballooned to 74-50.
A trey by Luna with showing on the clock gave the Sycamores its largest lead of the game, 74-47.
For the first time this season, the Sycamore eclipsed the 50% shooting mark as they hit 29-of-56 field goals for a blazing 51.8% clip. The Lady Bears hit just 27.9 % of their shots in the loss. The Sycamores hit 10-of-25 shots from long range in the game.
Angela Phillips added nine assists in the victory, tying a career-high to go along with her 20 points.
Luna joined Rudolphi and Phillips in double figures scoring with 17 points, hitting a trio of triples in the second half.
The win marked the first Valley road victory for the Sycamores this season, although IndianaState did hold a halftime lead in all three games of this most recent three-game road swing.
ISU improved to a perfect 8-0 on the season when holding an opponent to less than 73 points. The win was just for the fourth all-time for IndianaState at MissouriState, two of which have come in each of the last two years.
For just the third time this month the Indiana State Sycamores will appear at HulmanCenter when they return home to take on the Creighton Bluejays, Thursday, January 31. Tip-off is set for (ET).