The Redbirds enter Thursday's game with a Valley record of 12-4, while the Braves are 7-9 in conference play.
March 6, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - With a 81-60 win over Missouri State (March 3) in its final home game of the regular season, the Illinois State women’s basketball team recorded its sixth 20-win season in the last seven seasons and grabbed its seventh-straight victory. ISU will close out the regular season on the road, as it takes on Bradley, Thursday, at 6 p.m., and Northern Iowa, Saturday, at 2 p.m.
The Redbirds enter Thursday’s game with a Valley record of 12-4, while the Braves are 7-9 in conference play. Illinois State leads the all-time series with Bradley, 44-17. The two teams have met at least twice each year since 1984. ISU is currently on a 15-game winning streak dating back to 2006, with 11 of those wins coming by double-digits. Illinois State holds a 19-10 advantage of games played in Peoria, Ill.
FLASHBACK: JAN. 6, 2013-ILLINOIS STATE 81, BRADLEY 65
Janae Smith’s third-consecutive double-double, with 21 points and 13 rebounds, led Illinois State to a 81-65 victory over in-state rival Bradley. The victory marked Illinois State’s 15th-consecutive win over Bradley. Jamie Russell added 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting and Candace Sykes scored 17 points to pace a Redbird offense that shot 43percent from the floor and never trailed all game. Smith added a career-high six assists as ISU tallied 15 assists on 30 baskets. Defensively, the Redbirds limited Bradley to just 32 percent shooting and forced 12 turnovers.
ILLINOIS STATE-BRADLEY SERIES
Illinois State leads the all-time series with Bradley, 44-17. The two teams have met at least twice each year since 1984. While
Bradley has never won more than two-consecutive games over ISU, the Redbirds have five winning streaks of at least four games.
ISU is currently on a 15-game winning streak dating back to 2006, with 11 of those wins coming by double-digits. Last season, the Redbirds won both meetings by an average of 10.5 points and won both games in 2011 by an average of 14 points. ISU won both meetings in 2008 by 33 points each. Illinois State holds a 19-10 advantage of games played in Peoria, Ill.
FLASHBACK: JAN. 4, 2013-ILLINOIS STATE 72, NORTHERN IOWA 41
A pair of double-doubles from Janae Smith and Candace Sykes, combined with a stout defensive effort, led the Illinois State women’s basketball team to a 72-41 victory over Northern Iowa in both teams’ Missouri Valley Conference opener. The victory marked the second time this season that two Redbirds achieved a double-double, while the 41 points is the lowest total allowed this season by ISU. Smith reached double-digits in points and rebounds for the fifth time on the campaign, as she poured in a game-high 23 points on 7-of-12 shooting, to go along with 12 rebounds. Sykes earned her second double-double of the year, tallying 20 points, while going 8-for-15 from the field and 4-for-8 beyond the three-point line. She also pulled down 11 rebounds and blocked a career-high five shots.
ILLINOIS STATE-NORTHERN IOWA SERIES
Illinois State leads the all-time series with Northern Iowa, 39-25. The series began in 1976 and is the fourth-longest in program history. ISU started the series with a 28-3 record, which included a 22-game winning streak. Since then, UNI holds a 22-10 advantage in the series. The Redbirds have won consecutive games just once during that stretch, winning both regular-season meetings during the 2009-10 season. ISU just barely edges out Northern Iowa of games played in Cedar Falls, Iowa, 15-14. The last time the Redbirds won at UNI was Jan. 28, 2010.
Illinois State secured its 20th win of the season against Missouri State (March 3) on Senior Day. The Redbirds had a convincing 81-60 win over the Lady Bears. It is the sixth 20-win season for ISU in the last seven seasons. ISU just missed 20 wins during the 2011-12, ending the season with a 19-13 record. It is the 14th 20-win season in program history.
MAKE IT SEVEN IN A ROW
From Feb. 8-March 3, the ISU women’s basketball team won seven-straight games, its longest win streak of the season. The team accomplished a four-game win streak earlier this season (Dec. 21-Jan. 6). ISU won two home games against Drake (Feb. 8) and Creighton (Feb. 10), before winning its next three road games at Southern Illinois (Feb. 14), Evansville (Feb. 16) and back at home again against Wichita State (Feb. 28) and Missouri State (March 3). In the Redbirds’ wins over Creighton, Evansville and Wichita State, 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 seven-game win streak was during the 2010-11 season, when the Redbirds had four-, five- and seven-game win streaks.
STRONG DEFENSE, CREATES OFFENSE
Illinois State forced Missouri State (March 3) to turn the ball over 23 times in its 81-60 victory. The Redbirds were able to convert the Lady Bears’ miscues into points. ISU scored 26 points off of turnovers, just missing a season-high 27 points. MSU’s 23 turnovers are the most forced turnovers by ISU this season. Iowa (Nov. 11) and Drake (Feb. 8) also turned the ball over 23 times earlier this season. The Redbirds also recorded a season-high 17 steals in the game with five players taking away two or more steals.
GRABBING THE BOARDS
For the fourth time in the last five games, Illinois State brought down 40-plus rebounds, as the Redbirds grabbed 45 boards against the Lady Bears (March 3). Ten players recorded rebounds in ISU’s seventh-straight win. Illinois State has had 16 games with 40 or more rebounds.
TWOS THE LIMIT
Since the start of the season, the Redbirds haven’t lost more than two games in a month. In February, that trend was threatened, when ISU lost a road swing at Wichita State (Feb. 1) and Missouri State (Feb. 3) to open the new month, but the Redbirds regrouped and won the next six games in February to keep the trend alive.
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