Illinois State Outlasts Wichita State, 68-62
Feb. 23, 2012
The Illinois State women's basketball team improved to 16-10 overall and 11-4 in the Missouri Valley Conference after defeating Wichita State (17-9, 11-4) 68-62 for the second time this season. The victory moves Illinois State up into a second place tie in MVC standings with Wichita State, giving Missouri State sole possession of first place. ISU was led by Marley Hall and Jamie Russell with 18 points apiece, while Candace Sykes added 14.
The Redbirds started the game firing, including a long three-pointer from Sykes on ISU's first possession. Illinois State continued to control the game and compiled a 7-0 lead with baskets from Hall and Russell. The Redbird defense held Wichita State scoreless for over four minutes until Krystle Henderson sank a three-pointer for the Shockers first points on the board, 7-3. Sykes answered right back and marked her second three-point basket to give ISU its second seven-point lead of the game.
Wichita State was able to tie the game 14-14 at the 10 minute mark of the second half with seven points for Haleigh Lankaster and a jumper from Jessica Diamond. With the help of back-to-back jumpers from Diamond and Jazimen Gordon, WSU captured its first lead of the game 21-20 with seven minutes remaining in the first half. Illinois State was able to regain the lead with a jumper from Russell and three-consecutive points from Hall, 27-23. Alison Seberger drained a three in her first appearance of the game with seven seconds remaining, but Wichita State's Diamond sank a long trey at the buzzer to bring the Shockers within three points heading into the break, 30-27.
Lankaster led all players in the first half and was perfect from the field, making 10 points. Wichita State shot 44 percent from the field and 80 percent from the three-point line. Skyes and Russell led Illinois State with eight points apiece and shot 45 percent from the field. The Redbirds forced eight Shocker turnovers in the first half.
Illinois State compiled a four-point run to start the second half with a tip-in from Sykes and a layup from Hall. Wichita State started connecting offensively and scored five-consecutive baskets to give the Shockers a 37-34 lead. With a three-point play from Hall and WSU turnover, Broadway hit a jumper to regain the Redbird lead, 39-37 with 14 minutes remaining. Lankaster continued to battle for the Shockers and posted three-consecutive buckets to put WSU ahead two points, 41-39.
Both teams went scoreless for two minutes until Broadway hit a trey with 10 minutes left to play. The Redbirds and Shockers continued to exchange points through the end of the second half, until Russell took charge with four-straight points to put the Redbirds up 54-49. Illinois State extended its lead to seven points from the line off of two back-to-back WSU fouls, 60-53.
The Redbirds held the lead in the final minutes of the play and sealed their win from the line with consecutive free throws from Russell and Sykes with 24 seconds remaining. Illinois State shot 47.2 percent from the field and had three players record double-digits. Wichita State was led by Lankaster with 22 points and 10 rebounds. The Shockers shot 45.5 percent from the field and compiled 10 more turnovers than the Redbirds.
ISU will step back on the court Sunday, Feb. 26 at 2:05 p.m. against Missouri State for their final home match-up of the regular season.
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