Redbirds Downed by Hot-Shooting Panthers, 83-63
Jan. 5, 2014
NORMAL, Ill. - A 20-0 first half run by Northern Iowa proved too much for the Illinois State women's basketball team to overcome, as the Redbirds (2-10, 1-1 Missouri Valley Conference) fell to Northern Iowa (5-8, 1-1 MVC), 83-63, Sunday evening at Redbird Arena.
Chloe Nelson led all players with 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Octavia Crump added 13 points and eight rebounds, while Kalyn Gebhardt recorded career-bests in points and minutes, with 10 and 12, respectively.
All five UNI starters scored in double figures, led by Stephanie Davison's 20, as the Panthers shot a season-high 54.2-percent (26-of-48) from the floor, including 52.4-percent (11-of-21) from beyond the three-point arc. The 83 points allowed was a season-high for the Redbird defense, while the 11 three-pointers equaled a season-high.
Northern Iowa jumped out to an early lead, scoring the game's first seven points en route to a 10-2 advantage at the 17:14 mark. The Panthers led 11-4 when ISU scored on back-to-back possessions, on layups from Gebhardt and Alison Seberger, to make it 11-8 and force a UNI timeout with 14:50 left in the half. The Redbirds would not score for the next 3:43, however, as UNI scored four-straight to make it 15-8.
Stekara Hall ended ISU's drought with a reverse layup at the 11:09 mark, before UNI responded with four-straight again to take a 19-10 advantage. Five-consecutive points from Nelson sparked a 7-0 run that culminated with a fast-break layup from Crump that brought the Redbirds back within two, 19-17, with 8:08 remaining in the first half. The Redbirds eventually pulled within one, 22-21, on a layup by Nelson with 7:13 left in the half, before the Panthers seized control.
UNI responded to ISU's surge by reeling off a 20-0 run spanning 5:40, building the lead to 42-21. The Redbirds shot 0-for-7 during the stretch and committed three turnovers, while the Panthers connected on four three-pointers. A corner three from Smith ended the drought with 1:33 remaining in the first half before the two teams exchanged free throws, giving UNI a 43-26 lead at halftime.
The Panthers added on to their lead coming out of the locker room, scoring the first six points of the half to push their advantage to 49-26. Nelson scored four-straight points to bring the Redbirds to within 19, 49-30, with 16:50 remaining. The two teams then traded baskets, with a layup from Crump at the 15:25 mark making it 51-32. ISU could not contain the UNI offense, however, as the Panthers built their lead to as high as 26, 62-36 with 12:32 remaining.
ISU's best stretch of the game came in the middle of the second half, as a 12-3 run brought the Redbirds to within 17, 67-50, with 7:46 left. The Redbirds would fight back to a 17-point deficit two more times in the half, but could not get any closer.
The Redbirds will next be in action at Indiana State, Jan. 12. Tipoff is slated for 1:05 p.m.
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