Redbirds Run Past Salukis in Regular Season Finale, 72-50
March 3, 2012
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Jamie Russell led all scorers with 19 points and led the Illinois State (18-11, 13-5 MVC) women's basketball team past Southern Illinois (8-21, 4-14 MVC), 72-50, Saturday at SIU Arena. Russell was 7-of-12 from the field and perfect from the free throw line in the Redbirds' final game of the regular season. With the win, ISU finished second in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Katie Broadway and Marley Hall both netted 15 points, while Candace Sykes brought down 11 rebounds. Alexis Jenkins had four steals, as the Redbirds tallied 13 steals in the game. Southern Illinois had a slight advantage on the boards, 43-42. ISU made 42 percent of their shot attempts, while SIU made 28 percent.
Russell hit a quick jumper to get ISU on the board first, but a 9-0 run by SIU put the Salukis on top by seven, 9-2, with 16:47 left in the opening half. The Redbirds didn't hit a field goal for nearly seven minutes, when Hall put one up and in to get ISU within eight, 15-7, with 12:46 to play in the first. Southern Illinois went on an 8-2 run, including two shots from beyond the arc to increase their lead to 14 points, 23-9, with 11:27 remaining in the first half.
Down by 14 points, Illinois State took the momentum away from Southern Illinois and went on a 19-4 run to take the lead, 28-27, with 4:47 left in the first half. During the run, Russell made seven points, while six Redbirds scored to regain the lead for the first time since the opening minute of the game. Broadway made four points during a 6-0 run by ISU to go up by four points, Illinois State's largest lead of the game. SIU's Teri Oliver hit a three, as ISU headed into the locker room at the half up by one, 35-34.
Broadway led ISU at the half with 11 points, while Russell and Hall added nine and seven, respectively. Illinois State had six steals in the first half, while Southern Illinois didn't have any. The Salukis outrebounded the Redbirds, 21-17, as SIU shot 41 percent from the field compared to ISU's 38 percent.
ISU opened the second half with a 10-0 run, as SIU was scoreless for nearly the first five minutes of the half. The Redbirds used the run to increase their lead to 11 points, 45-34. Hall had four points during the run, including an and-one play. Russell scored eight-straight points for the Redbirds to take a 15-point lead, 55-40, with just under 10 minutes to play.
Illinois State kept its offensive threat going, as Southern Illinois wasn't able to respond. The Redbirds outscored the Salukis, 37-16, in the second half. ISU shot 45 percent from the field during the second half, while SIU struggled, shooting 15 percent.
With the win, the Redbirds clinched the No. 2 seed at the 2012 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in St. Charles, Mo., and will play Friday at Family Arena at 6:05 p.m., against either Drake or Evansville.
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