Redbirds Rout Salukis in 89-41 Home Victory
Maddie Oliver scored a career-high 15 points in the win over SIU.

Maddie Oliver scored a career-high 15 points in the win over SIU.

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Jan. 19, 2013

NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State senior Candace Sykes led five ISU players in double figures against Southern Illinois, as the Redbirds (12-6, 4-2 MVC) scored a season-high 89 points in an 89-41 Missouri Valley Conference victory over the Salukis (4-12, 1-4 MVC) Saturday on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena.

Sykes scored 14 of her game-high 19 points in the first half to lead the way for the Redbirds' scoring barrage. Maddie Oliver added a career-high 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds, Jamie Russell finished with 14 points and Janae Smith just missed out on her seventh double-double of the season, with 13 points and nine rebounds. Alexis Foley rounded out the quintet of ISU double-figure scorers with a career-high 10 points in the win.

The Salukis took a 6-3 lead early in the game, but the Redbirds scored 20 un-answered points to jump out to a 23-6 lead. Russell scored six points during the run and Alexis Jenkins had five quick points for during the stretch, in which saw Southern failed to score for 6:36. The Salukis ended their long scoring drought at the 11:27 mark in the first half, when Cartaesha Macklin scored on a fastbreak layup to cut the ISU lead to 15 points.

Illinois State's offense kept its foot on the gas and ripped off 11-straight points after the SIU basket, including five from Smith, to widen their lead to 34-8 with eight minutes left on the clock. The Salukis ended another long scoring drought at the 6:40 mark, when Azia Washington scored two of five-straight points to cut the ISU lead to 34-13.

Once again, the Redbirds answered with a long scoring run, this time with a 9-0 stint that lasted over two and a half minutes to widen their lead to 30 points at 43-13. Sykes started the run with a jumper and added her second three-pointer of the game during the stretch, during which SIU was held scoreless for over three minutes. ISU maintained its lead and took a 45-18 advantage into the locker room at halftime. The 45 points scored by the Redbirds were their most in the first half this season and the 18 points allowed to the Salukis was a season-low for an opponent at the half.

The break at halftime did not cool down the Redbirds' shooting, as they used a 10-2 run early in the second half to widen their lead to 59-27 with 13:46 left in the game. ISU kept a firm grasp on the lead and later used a 19-2 run to extend their lead to 45 points at 83-38, after Brianna Puni hit a pair of free throws with 4:26 left in the game.

Illinois State finished the game on a 13-3 run to secure the 48-point victory. The 89 points scored by the Redbirds was a season-high and the 41 points allowed tied a season-low for an ISU opponent, matching the 41 points scored by UNI in a 72-41 victory for the Redbirds over the Panthers on Jan. 4.

The Redbirds return to action Friday, Jan. 25, when they host the Indiana State Sycamores at Redbird Arena. Game time is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on Doug Collins Court in the final game of a three-game home stand.

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