Redbirds Fall to Memphis, 76-74
Jamie Russell
Jamie Russell

Nov. 18, 2012

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NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State (1-2) women's basketball team was defeated by Memphis (2-1) in the third round of the Preseason WNIT on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena Sunday afternoon. ISU was led by Janae Smith with a career-high 31 points. Illinois State had three players score double figures and it was the second-straight game a Redbird scored 30-plus points.

Both teams went scoreless for the first two minutes until Smith grabbed a steal and hit a jumper before being fouled on the shot to give the Redbirds a 3-0 lead. ISU missed two back-to-back buckets and Memphis sank two-consecutive shots to take the lead, 8-5. The Tigers scored the next three-straight baskets thanks to Nicole Dickson and Ann Jones, adding seven points to extend their lead 15-7.

Smith got the Redbirds back on track after making a layup with fourteen minutes left to play in the first half, 15-9. Illinois State went on a 7-0 run with a trey from Candace Sykes and scores from Jamie Russell and Smith to take the lead 22-21. The teams continued to exchange baskets until, Memphis scored seven of the next nine points for a 36-30 advantage with less than four minutes left in the first half.

The Redbirds were able to get within two points, but two free throws and a late three-point basket from Dickson sent ISU into the break trailing, 43-36. Dickson led the Tigers with 19 points and Smith tallied 19 points and a steal for Illinois State in the first half.

After the break, Memphis committed three fouls in the first two minutes, sending Smith and Russell to the line, each making two free throws, 47-40. Dickson scored all of the Tigers 10 points in the first five minutes of the second half, to put Memphis ahead, 53-49. Illinois State continued to battle and was able to get within one point with two-consecutive layups from Alexis Foley, 57-56.

The Tigers scored three-straight baskets with two-consecutive scores from Ariel Hearn and a layup from Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir to take the lead, 72-65. Illinois State answered right back with a three-point play from Smith and a trey from Sykes, trailing 74-71 with four minutes remaining. The Redbirds trailed two points with a minute left to play, but were unable to regain the lead, falling 76-74.

The Redbirds will return to the court Wednesday, Nov. 21 against Illinois-Chicago at 7 p.m.

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