ISU's Late Comeback Not Enough; Falls to Evansville, 75-62

Feb. 14, 2014

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NORMAL, Ill. - An early first half run for Evansville (9-14, 4-8 MVC) was too much for the Illinois State women's basketball team (6-15, 5-6 MVC) to overcome, as it fell to the Purple Aces, 75-62, Friday night at Redbird Arena. Illinois State made a late comeback and scored 39 points in the second half, but couldn't overcome a 19-point deficit.

Chloe Nelson was the only Redbird in double-digits with 15 points, including five field goals and five free throws. Mackenzie Freeman added eight points for Illinois State, while Katy Winge led all players in rebounding with 11, which was a career best. Octavia Crump added eight rebounds for Illinois State. ISU shot 33 percent from field and connected on 21 percent of its attempts from three-point range. The Redbirds pulled down 46 boards, three more than the Purple Aces.

Sara Dickey led all players in scoring and four Purple Aces in double-digits with 21 points. Evansville shot 45 percent from the field and 37 percent from three-point, as the team scored 42 second-half points.

The Purple Aces reached their largest lead of the first half with 17 points, after a pair of Kat Taylor free-throws, giving Evansville a 32-15 lead 6:01 left in the opening half. The Redbirds returned the favor with Crump knocking down a pair of free-throws. Following Crump's free-throws, a steal by Nelson and layup cut the lead to 13 with 5:33 remaining in the first half.

Illinois State closed out the first half on an 8-1 run to cut its deficit to 10 points, as it trailed Evansville, 33-23. UE shot 44 percent from the field while ISU shot 32 percent. Dickey led all players in first half scoring and was the only player to reach double-digits with 12 points. Crump led the Redbirds in scoring with six points. Crump and Winge added five rebounds apiece for Illinois State in the opening half, while Katie Ellerson recorded five boards for the Purple Aces. The Redbirds shot just 1-of-6 from three-point in the first half.

A Mallory Ladd three-pointer out of the locker room gave Evansville its first points of the second half, extending the lead to 36-23. The Redbirds would answer back with a Stekara Hall layup and the foul to bring UE's advantage back down to 10 points, 40 seconds into the half. Buckets by Dickey and Taylor extended the Purple Aces lead back to 15 at 43-28 with 16:17 to play.

An Ellerson three-pointer gave Evansville a 54-36 with 8:57 left to play. Taylor Stewart cut into the 18-point deficit, draining a free-throw for her first point of the game. The Redbirds trailed 54-37 with 7:56 left in the contest. A Nelson jumper with the foul cut the Evansville lead down 13 points, 54-41, at the 6:44 mark.

Evansville took a 19-point advantage, its largest lead of the game, after Dickey sank a jumper to extend the Purple Aces lead to 66-47 with 2:27 left to play. Illinois State made a push late in the game, getting within 10 points, after Lindsay Smith sank a three-pointer, 70-60, with 1:10 remaining, but the Redbirds ran out of time on the late effort.

The Redbirds are back in action Sunday, as they host Southern Illinois in the fourth-annual Play 4Kay game. The game is slated for a 2 p.m. tip at Redbird Arena.

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