Women's Basketball Tops UIC, 86-74
Nov. 21, 2012
CHICAGO - Four Redbirds scored in double figures, as the Illinois State women's basketball team (2-2) defeated in-state rival Illinois-Chicago (1-3), 86-74, at the UIC Pavilion Wednesday night. Candace Sykes led ISU with 20 points, shooting 50 percent from the field.
Janae Smith netted 18 points and brought down seven boards, while Jamie Russell added 14 points and had a team-high eight rebounds. Russell continued to be perfect from the free throw line on the season, sinking 6-of-6 in the victory. Alexis Jenkins tallied 13 points. Jenkins dished out six assists, while Russell had five. ISU outrebounded UIC, 43-37. The Redbirds shot 44 percent from the field, while the Flames sank 42 percent of their shots.
Illinois-Chicago jumped out to a quick five-point lead, but Illinois State answered with four-straight points to get within one. Back-to-back jumpers gave the Flames a five-point advantage with 15:55 to play. Coming out of the media break, the Redbirds went on a 9-2 run, giving ISU its first lead of the game, 13-11, off of a jumper by Sykes with 13:56 left in the first half.
ISU scored seven-straight points with Sykes netting five to take a 19-12 advantage with 12:10 left before the break. Illinois State was scoreless for nearly three minutes until Alexis Foley hit a three from the top of the key for a 10-point lead, 26-16, with 7:43 left in the first. After ISU took an eight-point lead, UIC went on an 11-6 run to end the first half, giving the Redbirds a three-point advantage, 34-31, going into the locker room.
At the half, Smith led ISU with eight points, while Sykes added seven. Russell grabbed six boards, as the Redbirds outrebounded the Flames, 26-19. UIC shot 42 percent from the field in the first half, while ISU made 35 percent of its shots.
ISU and UIC traded baskets to open the second half until ISU went on an 11-2 run to take a 49-38 advantage with 14:23 to play thanks to back-to-back fastbreak layups by Jenkins. The two teams traded points half way through the second half until the Redbirds netted five-straight points for a 14-point advantage, 68-64, with 7:27 to go. After five-straight points by the Flames, ISU answered with two-straight baskets, 76-65, with 2:46 remaining in the game, forcing a UIC timeout.
UIC used a three-point play to get within eight, 78-70, until Sykes hit a jumper in the lane to go up by 10 with just over one minute to play. A pair of free throws by UIC put the Flames within eight, 80-72. Illinois-Chicago had to foul to stop the clock, but the Redbirds were able to connect from the charity stripe and won, 86-74.
Illinois State will be back on the court Saturday at 5:30 p.m., against Western Kentucky in Bowling Green, Ky.
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