Nelson's Second-Half Surge Not Enough, as MSU Beats ISU, 75-72
Jan. 27, 2014
NORMAL, Ill. - After trailing by as many as 12 points in the second half, the Illinois State women's basketball team and senior Chloe Nelson fought back to take a three-point lead late in the contest. Missouri State (8-10, 3-4 Missouri Valley Conference) outscored the Redbirds (4-13, 3-4 MVC) 8-2 down the stretch, however, to secure a 75-72 victory Monday night at Redbird Arena.
Nelson led all players with 25 points, one shy of her career-high, on 6-of-13 shooting from the field and 11-of-14 from the free throw line. Octavia Crump (17), Lindsay Smith (12) and Katy Winge (10) each also scored in double figures for the Redbirds, while Crump led all players with nine rebounds. Tyonna Snow led a quartet of Lady Bears in double figures with 14 points, as MSU shot a season-best 51.9-percent (28-of-54) from the floor.
With Missouri State leading 62-55 with 5:12 remaining, Nelson took the game over for ISU, scoring 13 of the Redbirds' next 16 points as ISU surged to a 70-67 lead with 2:46 left. MSU converted two from the charity stripe to pull back within one, before Katie Palmer found space inside to put the Lady Bears back on top, 71-70, with 58.7 seconds remaining. ISU turned the ball over on its next possession, leading to two more free throws from MSU that made it 73-70 with 47.3 seconds left. Crump finished a driving layup to make it 73-72 MSU with 33 seconds remaining, but a MSU floater at the other end pushed the advantage back to three, 75-72, with 10.8 second left. Smith's three-point attempt as time wound down was off, resulting in the Redbirds' second-straight defeat.
The Lady Bears started out shooting well, making their first three shots to jump out to an early 6-2 lead. The Redbirds responded with seven-straight points, regaining the advantage with a three from Winge before a Crump jumper made it 9-6 Redbirds with 15:12 left in the opening half. The Lady Bears briefly went back on top by scoring four-straight before Nelson connected on a three-pointer from the left side that gave ISU a 10-9 advantage.
The lead continued to change hands for the next two minutes before MSU pushed the advantage to three, 17-14. With 10:49 left in the half. Nelson's second triple of the game tied the contest, before both teams alternated buckets to make it 19-19. From there, the Lady Bears scored five-straight points en route to the largest lead of the game for either team, 24-19, culminating with a three-point play from Bry Snow with 6:42 left in the first half.
MSU extended its lead to seven points before ISU ripped off five-straight, on a jumper from Winge and three from Smith, to climb back within two. The Lady Bears outscored ISU 7-2 the remainder of the half, however, to take a 37-30 lead into the break.
The Redbirds stormed out of halftime with four-straight points, but the Lady Bears quickly regained control, taking its first double-digit lead of the game, 46-36, on a three-pointer from Hannah Wilkerson with 16:07 remaining. The shot was part of a 9-0 run spanning 3:56, during which the Redbirds shot 0-of-5 from the floor and committed two turnovers.
Layups on back-to-back possessions from Crump and Nelson ended the drought and brought ISU to back within single digits, 48-40, with 12:58 left. Two free throws from Kalyn Gebhardt and a steal and fastbreak layup from Smith completed the 8-0 Redbird run and made the score 48-44 with 10:50 remaining.
The Lady Bears responded, pushing their lead back to as many as nine, before the Redbirds would attempt to mount another comeback behind the efforts of Nelson. She converted a three-point play with 4:45 left to pull ISU back within three, 62-59, with 4:45 remaining. A minute and a half later, Nelson sank two from the line with 3:15 left to put the Redbirds on top, 68-67, their first lead since the 11:42 mark of the first half. Two more free throw makes on ISU's next possession pushed the Redbird lead to three, before the Lady Bears regained the lead and secured the win.
The Redbirds' next game will be against Loyola in Chicago, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m.
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