Redbirds Top Drake with Second Half Run, 66-51
Jamie Russell

Jamie Russell

Feb. 19, 2012

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DES MOINES, Iowa - Katie Broadway led the Illinois State women's basketball team with 20 points, as a 12-0 opening-second half run helped the Redbirds defeat Drake, 66-51, Sunday at the Knapp Center.

Jamie Russell scored 18 points and brought down six boards, while recording a career-high six steals. Candace Sykes recorded 10 boards for the second-straight game and added eight points for the Redbirds. Brianna Puni grabbed a career-high six rebounds. Illinois State (15-10, 10-4 MVC) outrebounded (13-13, 7-7 MVC) Drake 27-13 in the second half and had the advantage on the boards for the game, 36-33. ISU shot 56 percent from the field in the second half and made 48 percent of their shot attempts for the game, while Drake ended the game with a field goal percentage of 33.

Drake hit back-to-back threes to get a quick seven-point lead, 9-2, but Broadway answered back with a shot behind the arc, getting within four points just over two minutes into the first half. The Bulldogs took an eight-point lead twice early in the game, but Broadway answered back each time, sinking 10-straight points for the Redbirds. Sykes hit a jumper to pull ISU within three points, 17-14, while Russell connected from the top of the key to cut Drake's lead to one, 18-17, with 11:51 left in the first.

Illinois State took a one-point lead off of a layup by Puni, but couldn't hold on to it, as Drake went on a 6-0 run, 24-19, with just under nine minutes left before the half. Alexis Jenkins hit a three to pull ISU back within two, 26-24, but DU used a 7-2 run to take a seven-point advantage, 33-26, with 3:31 left in the half. Katy Winge hit a pair of free throws followed by a jumper from Chloe Nelson to shorten Drake's lead to three, but a jumper in the middle of the lane by Drake's Kyndal Clark at the buzzer sent ISU into the locker room down by five, 37-32.

At the half, Broadway led the Redbirds with 10 points, while Russell added seven to the ISU total. Russell brought down a team high four boards, while Puni grabbed three. ISU shot 41 percent from the field, while DU sank 46 percent of their shot attempts. The Bulldogs dominated the boards, outrebounding the Redbirds by 10, 22-12. Drake hit 13-of-17 free throws in the first half compared to Illinois State making 2-of-3 from the charity stripe.

The Redbirds came out of the locker room ready to go, as they went on a 12-0 run over the first four minutes of the second half to take a seven-point lead, 44-37. Sykes had four points in the run, doubling her first half points, while Broadway added five points, including a three-pointer from the corner with 16:23 left in the game.

Winge hit a three from the top of the key to increase Illinois State's lead by 10 points, 52-42, with 10:39 remaining in the game, forcing a Drake timeout. After the Bulldogs cut the Redbirds' lead back to single digits, Sykes and Russell scored three-straight baskets, giving ISU a 15-point lead, 62-47, its largest of the game with 6:07 left to play.

Drake cut ISU's lead back to 11 points, but four-straight points by Illinois State tied the Redbirds largest lead of the game with 15 points. The Bulldogs didn't have an answer, as the Redbirds went on to win, 66-51.

Illinois State returns home for its final home series of the season, as they host Wichita State and Missouri State. ISU and WSU will open the weekend Thursday at 7:35 p.m., in Redbird Arena.

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