Redbirds End Non-Conference Slate With 67-60 Loss to Denver
Dec. 30, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - In a game that featured nine lead changes and five ties, Denver (2-11, 0-0 Summit League) held off Illinois State (1-9, 0-0 Missouri Valley Conference), 67-60, in non-conference action Monday night at Redbird Arena. The loss marked the sixth-straight defeat for Illinois State.
Two Redbirds finished in double-figures as Chloe Nelson led Illinois State with 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting and Katy Winge added a season-best 11 points, including 3-of-4 shooting from beyond the three-point arc. Octavia Crump led the Redbirds with nine rebounds and senior Alison Seberger added eight boards in the defeat.
Denver had four players finish in double-figures, highlighted by a game-best 18 points from Paige Bradley.
Both teams shot 43% (22-of-51) from the floor, Denver outrebounded Illinois State 36-32 and Illinois State forced 18 turnovers to Denver’s 17 in the loss.
Seberger, making just her fifth-career start, tallied the first six points of the night for Illinois State, registering baskets on assists from Stekara Hall, Winge and Nelson. Winge hit a jumper and a three-point basket to offset a 7-2 Denver run, putting Illinois State back on top 16-14 with 12:46 to play in the opening half.
Taylor Stewart’s basket with 7:13 remaining in the first half snapped a scoreless drought of over four minutes for the Redbirds, extending the ISU lead to 22-19. Winge followed with a three-pointer, her third of the opening half, to give Illinois State its biggest lead of the game to that point, 25-19. Denver responded with a 5-0 run of its own, capped by a three-point basket from Jordan Johnston.
Denver rallied for an 8-0 run going into halftime, reclaiming a 33-29 advantage at the midway point of the game.
Lindsey Smith’s free throw with 18:16 to go opened the scoring in the second half for either team. Theresa Wirth and Kailey Edwards extended the Denver lead to seven points, 37-30, with under 16 minutes to play, however Smith sparked a 6-0 Redbird run with a three-pointer from in front of the Illinois State bench. Alexis Foley drew a foul on a layup and made the free-throw for a three-point play, cutting the deficit to 37-36, with 14 minutes left in regulation. Smith finished with six points in 21 minutes and Foley added seven points on the night.
Trailing 41-38, Crump grabbed an offensive rebound and tallied her first basket of the night to swing momentum back in Illinois State’s favor. After a defensive stop, Nelson drew a foul and made both free throws to give Illinois State its first lead since the opening half, 42-41, with 11:40 to play. Smith added a layup and Nelson drained a three-pointer to make it 47-43 Illinois State. It would be the last advantage for Illinois State in the game.
A 4-0 Denver run tied the game at 47-47 with 7:41 to go, but a spinning layup from Foley briefly stopped the Denver attack. Sparked by a long three-pointer from Edwards, Denver then went on an 8-0 run. Edwards added a layup and Paige Bradley netted a three-point basket to cap the Pioneers run, 55-49. Crump ended the skid for Illinois State with a layup, but Denver added four-straight points at the free throw line and two points from the floor, building its advantage to 61-51 with 2:19 to play.
Nelson snapped a 6-0 Denver run with just over two minutes to play and, after a defensive stop, Hall made a layup and drew a foul. After completing the three-point play, the Redbirds trailed 61-56 with 90 seconds to go. On Denver’s next possession, the Redbird defense forced a stop, but Nelson missed a three-pointer. The Redbirds were forced to foul, trailing, 61-56, with 42 seconds left and couldn’t reclaim the lead.
The Redbirds return to action Fri., Jan. 3 when they open Missouri Valley Conference play versus Drake. Tip-off is slated for 7:05 p.m. from Redbird Arena and tickets can be secured at GoRedbirds.com or by calling 309.438.8000.
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