Women's Hoops Can't Stop Wichita State in Second Half, 74-58

Jan. 25, 2014

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NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State women's basketball team held league-leading Wichita State to just 27 points in the first half Saturday on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena, but 47 points in the second 20 minutes of play kept the Shockers (15-2, 6-0 MVC) undefeated in conference play, after a 74-58 victory over the Redbirds (4-12, 3-3 MVC).

Chloe Nelson scored 15 of her 19 points in the second half to lead a trio of Redbirds in double figures and added five rebounds against the Shockers. Stekara Hall added 18 points and seven rebounds, and Lindsay Smith set a career-best with four three-pointers and five made field goals, tying a career-high 14 points. Wichita State shot 50 percent from the field, while ISU connected on 34 percent of its shot attempts. The Shockers also had the advantage on the boards, pulling down 41 rebounds, five more than the Redbirds. WSU controlled the paint, as it scored 38 points in the paint.

Both teams struggled to get offense going early in the game, as Illinois State didn't connect from the field until the 15:41 mark of the first half. The two teams traded points until Smith sank back-to-back threes, giving the Redbirds a 10-8 advantage seven minutes into the game. ISU was scoreless for nearly five minutes, until Octavia Crump got a layup on a second-chance effort, regaining a one-point lead, 13-12, at the 8:25 mark of the opening half.

The Shockers were scoreless for nearly five minutes until a three-point play gave the lead back to WSU,15-13. A 7-0 run increased WSU's lead to eight points, 27-18, forcing an ISU timeout with 2:27 remaining before the break. Illinois State scored five-straight points at the end of the half, including a half-court shot at the buzzer by Smith, to head into the locker room down by four at 27-23.

Smith led all scorers at the half, scoring 12 points, while Nelson and Hall each added four points. The Redbirds shot 25 percent from the field, while the Shockers sank 41 percent of their shot attempts. Crump pulled down a team-high four rebounds in the opening half, as the two teams both pulled down 19 rebounds in the first half. WSU had three blocks and 18 points in the paint.

Wichita State opened the second half with an 11-0 run, while Illinois State missed its first nine field goal attempts. The Shockers took an early 38-23 lead, before five-straight points by the Redbirds got ISU back into the game, 38-28, with 14:19 left to play. Hall found a groove and scored nine-straight points for ISU to make the score 51-39 at the halfway mark of the second half.

The Redbirds used a short 4-0 run to get within 15 points at 58-43 and Nelson scored 13 of ISU's last 15 points, getting Illinois State within 12 points, 70-58, with just over a minute to play. Despite her effort, it wasn't enough, as the Redbirds fell to Shockers, 74-58.

ISU will return to Redbird Arena Monday at 7:05 p.m., to take on MVC rival Missouri State in its `We Back Pat' game.

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