Redbirds Shut Down Phoenix In Second Half For Big Road Win
Dec. 13, 2008
GREEN BAY, Wis. - A remarkable defensive effort in the second half led Illinois State (5-3) to a 60-49 win over Green Bay (7-2) Saturday afternoon in one of the premiere matchups of mid-major teams this season. For the first time this year, Illinois State has won three-consecutive games.
Nicolle Lewis recorded her first double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Lewis' last double-double came against Evansville in the season-finale last year. The Wisconsin native also had a game-high three blocks.
Maggie Krick had 13 points and four assists, giving her more than 200 for her career. Shala Jackson was the other Redbird in double-figures with 10 points. Ashleen Bracey added eight points, all in the second half, and nine rebounds.
The Illinois State defense was stifling in the second half, holding Green Bay to just three field goals (3-28). The Phoenix had spans of 8:36 and 5:05 without making a shot from the field. After shooting 46 percent from the field in the first half, Green Bay shot just 10 percent in the second half, dropping its shooting percentage to 27.8 for the game
Defense has been the name of the game for ISU during its current three-game winning streak, as the Redbirds have held their last three opponents under 50 points. The last time that occurred was in March of 1973.
"We had a tremendous effort on defense and on the boards in the second half, "said head coach Robin Pingeton. "At halftime, we talked about how we gave up 10 easy points in the first half due to defensive breakdowns. The players came out focused and played with a greater sense of urgency in the second half to come up with a big road win. Our defense was really the key to our success."
Green Bay scored 11-unanswered points to take an early 11-5 lead, capitalizing on seven-straight misses by the Redbirds. Jackson snapped the five-minute scoring drought with a layup and had a three-point play to pull the Redbirds within one, 13-12.
Both teams struggled shooting the ball at the end of the first half. Kayla Tetschlag made a three-pointer at 6:58 to give Green Bay its biggest lead of the half, 24-19, but the Phoenix then went nearly six minutes without a field goal. The Redbirds started to chip away at the lead, but had a four-minute scoring drought of their own. A jumper by Katie Broadway pulled the `Birds within one, but Tetschlag had a three-pointer and a layup off an offensive rebound in the last minute to give the Phoenix a 33-27 lead at halftime.
ISU had the momentum to start the second half, scoring six-straight points to tie the game at 33, but couldn't keep it going long enough to take the lead and Green Bay stayed ahead by three.
Just when it appeared that the second half might fall into the same pattern as the first half, it was ISU's defense that turned things around. The Redbirds went on a 16-2 run over an eight-minute span to finally overcome the Green Bay lead and pull ahead, 51-42. ISU scored 11-straight points, six by Bracey, and a three-point play by Lewis gave the Redbirds their first lead since the opening minutes of the first half, 42-40.
Illinois State's road trip continues with a game at Northern Illinois (3-5) Monday at 7:05 p.m.