Women's Basketball Travels to Indiana State

Feb. 22, 2013

Game 26 | illinois state at indiana state
Date: Sunday,Feb. 24 at 1:05 p.m. (CST)
Location: Terre Haute, Ind. | Hulman Center
Game Notes: Illinois State | Indiana State
Live Stats: StatBroadcast



NORMAL, Ill. - Candace Sykes set a career-high with 24 points against Evansville, as the Illinois State women’s basketball defeated the Purple Aces, 64-46. Jamie Russell also recorded double-digit scoring performances in the victory, while Janae Smith recorded a double-double. ISU looks to continue its winning ways, as it travels to Terre Haute, Ind., to take on Indiana State, Sunday, at 1:05 p.m. (CST). The game can be heard live on GoRedbirds.com and WJBC.com, as well as 93.7 FM, which will join in progress.

The Redbirds enter Sunday’s game with a Valley record of 9-4, while the Sycamores are 8-5 in conference play. Both teams are on four-game winning streaks entering their second meeting of the season.

Illinois State leads the all-time series with Indiana State, 45-37. The series, which began in 1972, is the second-longest in Illinois State history. The Sycamores lead the series in games played in Terre Haute, Ind., 19-15.

After surrendering an 11-point lead and enduring a five-minute stretch without a field goal, the Illinois State women’s basketball team needed a play down the stretch to regain control of the game. Alexis Jenkins delivered, hitting a jumper at the 3:01 mark to give the Redbirds a 65-63 lead they would not relinquish, as Illinois State defeated Indiana State, 66-65, on Jan. 25th at Redbird Arena. Jenkins scored 10 points and was one of four Redbirds to score in double figures, joining Jamie Russell (16), Janae Smith (15) and Candace Sykes (11). Anna Munn and Marina Laramie of Indiana State led all scorers with 17 points apiece, but it was Munn’s potential game-winning shot that clanged off the rim as time expired, ensuring a Redbird win.

Illinois State leads the all-time series with Indiana State, 45-37. The series, which began in 1972, is the second-longest in Illinois State history. Illinois State started out with a 30-16 record against Indiana State, including a string of 12-straight wins from 1980-87. Indiana State then won 13 of the next 14 meetings and Illinois State is 13-8 in the last 21 matchups. The Sycamores lead the series in games played in Terre Haute, Ind., 19-15.

From Feb. 8-Feb. 16, the ISU women’s basketball team won four-straight games, tying its longest win streak of the season, which it accomplished earlier this season (Dec. 21-Jan. 6). ISU won its last two home games against Drake (Feb. 8) and Creighton (Feb. 10), before winning its next two road games at Southern Illinois (Feb. 14) and Evansville (Feb. 16). In the Redbirds’ wins over Creighton and Evansville, ISU was trailing at the half, and came back in the second half to grab the wins. It marked the only times this season that ISU won after trailing at half time. The last time ISU had a four-game win streak was during the 2010-11 season, when the Redbirds had four-, five- and seven-game win streaks.

For the fifth time this season, the Illinois State women’s basketball team held an opponent to less than 50 points. In ISU’s 64-46 victory over Evansville (Feb. 16), the Redbird defense held the Purple Aces to a field goal percentage of 36 percent (18-of-50), as the Purple Aces only scored 18 points in the second half. ISU also held Morehead State (45), Northwestern (46), Northern Iowa (41) and Southern Illinois (41) to less than 50 points. The last time ISU held five opponents to less than 50 points in one season was the 2008-09 season, when the Redbirds held Western Illinois (49), Eastern Michigan (47), Green Bay (49), Creighton (43) and Indiana State (48) below the 50-point mark.

In the first four games of Valley play, Jamie Russell only had one double-digit scoring performance. Since scoring four points at Drake (Jan. 13), Russell has poured in nine-straight double-digit scoring performances and is averaging 17.2 points per game through those nine performances. The Rock Falls, Ill., native has made 48 percent of her shot attempts in the last nine games, scoring 155 points. On the season, Russell leads the Redbirds with 14.3 points scored per game.

In ISU’s game at Evansville, senior guard Candace Sykes had three points after the first half. The St. Anne, Ill., native came to life in the second half, pouring in 21 second-half points on her way to a career-high 24 points. The senior guard sank five three pointers, which also tied a career high. Sykes 21 points in the second half outscored Evansville’s team total of 18 second half points.

In 23 of Illinois State’s 25 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 15-0 on the season, but when trailing or tied on their way into the locker room, the Redbirds are 2-8. 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. It marked the first time this season that ISU won a contest, after trailing at the half. Two games later, ISU had a similar situation, heading into the locker room down by four at Evansville. In the second half at Evansville, Illinois State outscored Evansville, 40-18, winning the game by 18 points, 64-46.

Brianna Puni poured in 17 points at Southern Illinois (Feb. 14), tying a career-high, which she previously accomplished against Butler (Dec. 30). Puni was 5-of-8 from the field and made seven free throws. It was Puni’s third double-digit performance in the Redbirds’ last five games. Over the last five games, Puni is averaging 11.2 points per game and 7.0 rebounds per game, which leads the Redbirds in the last five games. She is shooting 58 percent from the field and is ISU’s second-leading scorer through the last five games, behind Jamie Russell.

ISU and SIU’s game came down to a last second shot, after the Redbirds defeated the Salukis by 48 earlier in the season. With 1.8 seconds left on the clock, Southern Illinois got the ball and had to go the length of the court. A long three-pointer got off, but was no good, as ISU won the game, 71-68. Free throws by Jamie Russell and Alexis Jenkins secured the 71-68 victory.

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