Redbirds Begin Quest for Fifth MVC Tournament Title Friday

March 13, 2013

Game 31 | illinois state vs Bradley
Date: Friday,March 15 at 8:35 p.m.
Location: St. Charles, Mo. | Family Arena
Game Notes: Illinois State | Bradley
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
Watch: Valley TV

 

 

NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State will face Bradley in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Friday at 8:35 p.m., at Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo. It will be the second time in eight days that ISU and BU will face off on the hardwood.

Illinois State leads the all-time series with Bradley, 44-18. ISU and BU split the regular season series. The Redbirds averaged 75.0 points in their win, while the Braves averaged 68.0 points per game over the two contests.

ISU earned the No. 3 seed in the 2013 MVC Tournament, marking the fourth time the Redbirds will compete as a No. 3 seed. Illinois State has an 18-18 all-time record in the Gateway/Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. ISU’s 18 wins are the fourth-most in conference history.

ILLINOIS STATE-BRADLEY SERIES
Illinois State leads the all-time series with Bradley, 44-18. 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.
Bradley snapped a 15-game winning streak by Illinois State on March 7 that dated 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 has a 2-0 advantage over BU in games played at a neutral site.

THIS SEASON vs. BRADLEY
Illinois State and Bradley split the regular season series, with Illinois State winning the first meeting on January 6, while Bradley came out on top in the most recent meeting on March 7. The Redbirds averaged 75.0 points in their win, while the Braves averaged 68.0 points per game over the two contests. Both teams collected 28 turnovers over the two games, committing the same amount of turnovers in each game they played. Three Redbirds averaged double-digit scoring efforts against the Braves. Jamie Russell led ISU with 18.0 points per game, while Candace Sykes netted 16.0 followed closely by Janae Smith, who scored 14.5 points per game.

REDBIRDS FINISH THIRD IN THE VALLEY
Illinois State finished the regular season in sole possession of third place in the Valley standings. The Redbirds have finished in the top-three in the Valley regular season in each of the last seven years. ISU earned the No. 3 seed in the 2013 MVC Tournament, marking the fourth time the Redbirds will compete as No. 3. In 1990-91, the Redbirds fell in the semifinal round, but five years later, as the No. 3 seed, ISU advanced to the championship game. In 1982-83, Illinois State won the tournament as the No. 3 seed.

REDBIRDS IN MVC TOURNAMENT
Illinois State has an 18-18 all-time record in the Gateway/Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. ISU’s 18 wins are the fourth-most in conference history, behind Missouri State (36), Drake (33) and Creighton (22). The Redbirds have won four championships, behind Missouri State (9) and Drake (5). In the 26 years that conference tournaments have been held, Illinois State has reached the championship game seven times.

FOUR REDBIRDS RECEIVE ALL-VALLEY HONORS
Four Redbirds received All-Valley honors and three of the four players received Valley recognition for the second-straight season. Jamie Russell was named to the All-Valley First Team. Russell was also selected to the All-Defensive Team and was named a All-Valley Second Team selection on the All-Scholar Team. Janae Smith earned accolades when she was named to the All-Valley Second Team. Candace Sykes received honors when she was named to the All-Valley Honorable Mention Team, and Chloe Nelson was an All-Valley Honorable Mention selection on the All-Scholar Team. Illinois State has had three players named All-Valley in each of the last five years and has had a player on the Valley All-Defensive and Scholar- Athlete teams in seven-consecutive seasons. Russell, Sykes and Nelson all earned Valley recognition last season.

REDBIRDS IN THE VALLEY RANKINGS
Illinois State had several players finish the regular season in the top-10 in the Valley rankings. Janae Smith was in the top-10 in five categories, the most for any Redbird. Smith was fourth in rebounds with 8.5 per game, which breaks down to fourth in defensive rebounds (6.1 rpg) and seventh in offensive rebounds (2.3 rpg). She sits in fifth place in blocked shots with 1.0 per game and had the fourth best field goal percentage, making 48 percent of her shot attempts. Jamie Russell was in the top-10 in three categories. Russell was sixth in scoring with 14.2 points per game and fifth in field goal percentage (87 percent). She ranked third in the conference in steals with 2.5 per game. Candace Sykes was in the top-10 in three categories. Sykes averaged 13.3 points per game for ninth place. She was also ninth in free throw percentage, making 78 percent. Sykes found success beyond the arc, finishing the season in fifth place in made three pointers with 2.2 per game. Alexis Jenkins led the Valley in assist/turnover ratio with 1.9, and is ninth in assists with 3.5 per game.

STRONG SECOND HALF
After going 5-4 in the first half of Missouri Valley Conference play, the Redbirds finished the second half of the conference season with a record of 8-1. In the second half of MVC play, ISU averaged 68.7 points per game, while its opponents scored an average of 59.2 points per game. The Redbirds also had the advantage on the boards, bringing down 40 more total rebounds than their opponents.

20/20
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.

AT THE BREAK
In 26 of Illinois State’s 30 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 18-0 on the season, but when trailing or tied on their way into the locker room, the Redbirds are 3-9.

PLAYING THE FIELD
When examining Illinois State’s wins and losses, a lot can be said about how the Redbirds play the field. In the 21 wins, ISU is shooting 44 percent from the field (551-of-1260). In the nine losses, the field goal percentage drops to 35.1 percent (203-of-578). The Redbirds are also scoring 12.3 points less in their losses (59.3 ppg) than in their wins (71.6 ppg).

GoRedbirds.com: Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.