Women's Hoops Shoots Past Western Kentucky, 83-68
Nov. 24, 2012
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Candace Sykes poured in 22 points, as she led all scorers in the Illinois State (3-2) women's basketball team's 83-68 victory over Western Kentucky (3-1) at Diddle Arena Saturday evening. Four Redbirds scored in double figures for the second-straight game, the same players who scored in double figures against Illinois-Chicago.
Janae Smith and Jamie Russell each tallied 11 points, while Alexis Jenkins added 10 points. Smith led all rebounders with a career-high 12 boards, recording the first double-double of her career. The sophomore transfer also recorded a career-high four blocks. Sykes brought down eight boards. ISU made 49 percent of its shots, while WKU connected on 42 percent. The Lady Toppers recorded 38 boards compared to the Redbirds' 35 rebounds.
The Redbirds opened the game with a 6-0 run, but the Lady Toppers answered and tied the game, 6-6, with 16:17 left in the first. ISU was scoreless for nearly two minutes until it went on an 8-3 run out of the 16-minute media break to take a five-point advantage, 14-9, with 12:04 remaining in the first. Four separate Redbirds scored in the run.
Illinois State used a 7-2 run to take a 24-17 lead with 6:06 to play in the opening half. Sykes had five of ISU's points in the run with a pair of free throws and a shot from behind the arc. The Redbirds took a 10-point lead, 29-19, off a jumper by Russell with just under three minutes to play before the break. ISU maintained a 10-point advantage in the final minutes of the first half, but a pair of free throws by WKU sent Illinois State to the locker room with an eight-point advantage, 36-28.
At the half, Sykes led all scorers with 13 points and had four boards. Russell and Jenkins both added six points, while Smith grabbed five boards and recorded three blocks. ISU shot 46 percent from the field, while WKU made 39 percent of its shots. On the boards, WKU brought down six more than ISU in the opening half, 22-16.
Illinois State took a 12-point lead early in the second half, but six-straight points by Western Kentucky cut ISU's lead in half, 42-36, with 17:52 to play. Sykes hit a three from the corner, while getting knocked down with 14:18 remaining in the game. Sykes completed the four-point play, connecting on a free throw, giving ISU a 52-39 advantage.
The Lady Toppers used an 11-6 run to get within eight, 58-50 with 10:47 to play. ISU and WKU exchanged baskets in the middle of the half, until Western Kentucky hit three-straight threes to close Illinois State's gap by eight, 74-66, with 4:23 to go in the game. Smith had four-straight points for ISU followed by a three from Sykes to give ISU an 81-68 advantage with under two minutes to play. The Lady Toppers wouldn't respond, as the Redbirds won 83-68.
ISU will return to Redbird Arena for a five-game homestand, beginning with Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 7:05 p.m.
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