Women's Basketball Travels to Southern Illinois, Evansville

Feb. 13, 2013

Game 25 | illinois state at Evansville
Date: Saturday,Feb. 16 at 5:05 p.m.
Location: Evansville, Ind. | Ford Center
Live Stats: GameTracker



NORMAL, Ill. - With a season-low three turnovers against Creighton, the Illinois State women’s basketball team won its two MVC games last weekend. The Redbirds defeated Drake, 81-57, before topping Creighton, 66-60. Illinois State will travel to Southern Illinois to take on the Salukis, Thursday, at 7:05 p.m. The game can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet Chicago. On Saturday, ISU will face Evansville at 5 p.m.

The Redbirds enter Thursday’s game with a Valley record of 7-4, while the Salukis are 1-9 in conference play.

Illinois State leads the all-time series with Southern Illinois, 51-38, in the longest running series in school history. The two teams have both won 19 games played in Carbondale, Ill., the last time ISU lost to SIU on the road was on March 4, 2006, in an overtime loss.

FLASHBACK: JAN. 19, 2013-ILLINOIS STATE 89, Southern Illinois 41
Illinois State senior Candace Sykes led five ISU players in double figures against Southern Illinois, as the Redbirds scored a season-high 89 points in an 89-41 Valley victory over the Salukis on Jan. 19. Sykes scored 14 of her game-high 19 points in the first half to lead the way for the Redbirds’ scoring barrage. Maddie Oliver added a career-high 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds, Jamie Russell finished with 14 points and Janae Smith just missed out on her seventh double-double of the season, with 13 points and nine rebounds. Alexis Foley rounded out the quintet of ISU double-figure scorers with a career-high 10 points in the win.

Illinois State leads the all-time series with Southern Illinois, 51-38. In the longest running series in school history, Illinois
State has played Southern Illinois annually since 1972. The Redbirds went 22-5 against the Salukis through 1985. After that, SIU posted a 29-13 record in the series, including a string of 12-straight wins. The Redbirds have won 10-straight over the Salukis. The two teams have both won 19 games played in Carbondale, Ill., the last time ISU lost to SIU on the road was on March 4, 2006, in an overtime loss.

FLASHBACK: JAN. 17, 2013-ILLINOIS STATE 57, Evansville 71
Despite Jamie Russell’s team-best 24 points, the Illinois State Redbirds opened a three-game home stand with a 71-57 Missouri Valley Conference loss to Evansville on Jan. 17. The loss snapped a five-game Illinois State winning streak at Redbird Arena versus Evansville. The Purple Aces had three players score in double-figures, paced by Mallory Ladd’s team-high 18 points and 10 rebounds. Evansville limited ISU to 36 percent shooting and made 23-of-27 free throws in the win. Candace Sykes led ISU with six rebounds, but the Redbirds were outrebounded 37-32 in the contest.

Illinois State leads the all-time series with Evansville, 25-13. The series began when Evansville joined the Valley in 1995, with ISU winning the first eight meetings. Illinois State holds a slight 17-13 advantage since then, including 12 wins in the last 16 games. The Redbirds are 14-4 all-time against the Purple Aces in Evansville, Ind., winning the last seven matchups at Evansville.

In ISU’s 66-60 win over Creighton (Feb. 10), the Redbirds committed only three turnovers in the game. Two of the three turnovers were classified as team turnovers for shot clock violations. It was the fewest turnovers by the Redbirds this season. The previous low was nine against Princeton (Dec. 19). The Bluejays had 12 turnovers in the game, which the Redbirds turned into 21 points.

In ISU’s 66-60 victory over Creighton (Feb. 10), the Redbirds had 32 points in the paint, 22 more points than the Bluejays, which was the opposite of how the first meeting between the two teams went this season, when CU had 36 points in the paint compared to 18 for ISU. Illinois State also had 10 fastbreak points and held Creighton to zero points off of fastbreak plays.

Senior guard Jamie Russell led the Redbirds in both wins over the weekend, but on Sunday (Feb. 10), the Rock Falls, Ill., native was determined to win. At the half, Russell had six points. She scored 16 points in the second half, including six-straight points that gave the momentum to ISU. Russell poured in 22 points for the game, leading all scorers. She also had seven rebounds, with four coming on the offensive end, and tallied six steals in the 66-60 victory.

After giving up 91 points at Missouri State (Feb. 3), Illinois State had its best shooting performance of the season against Drake (Feb. 8), as the Redbirds made 60 percent of its shot attempts from the field. ISU was 35-of-59 from the field, as it netted 81 points in the win. It was the fifth time this season Illinois State has scored 80 or more points and the third time in conference play. Prior to Friday’s game, the best team shooting performance came against Western Kentucky, when the Redbirds connected on 49 percent of its field goal attempts.

Against Drake (Feb. 8), the Redbirds scored 48 points in the paint, 26 more points than Drake. It was the most points in the paint for the Redbirds this season. After giving up 56 points in the paint to Missouri State (Feb. 3), the Redbird post players regrouped and had a stellar performance against Drake, as the three post players, who average 15 or more minutes per game, all had double-digit performances.

Illinois State forced Drake (Feb. 8) to turn the ball over 23 times in its 81-57 victory. The Redbirds were able to convert the Bulldogs’ miscues into points. ISU scored a season-high 27 points off of turnovers. Drake’s 23 turnovers are the most forced turnovers by the Redbirds this season. Iowa (Nov. 11) also turned the ball over 23 times in ISU’s second game of the season.

In 22 of Illinois State’s 23 games during the 2012-13 season, the way the Redbirds go into the locker room at the half is the way they have ended each game. When leading at the half, ISU is 14-0 on the season, but when trailing or tied on their way into the locker room, the Redbirds are 1-8. Against Creighton (Feb. 10), the Redbirds went into the locker room down by six, 31-25, but ended up winning the game by the same margin, 66-60.

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