ISU Plays Wichita State in Championship Game for Fifth MVC Tourney Title

March 17, 2013

Game 33 | illinois state vs wichita state
Date: Sunday, March 17 at 2:05 p.m.
Location: St. Charles, Mo. | Family Arena
Game Notes: Illinois State | Wichita State
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
Watch: ESPN3

 

 

ST. CHARLES, Mo. - For the seventh time in program history, the Redbirds will be playing for a conference tournament title, as they take on Wichita State at 2:05 p.m., at Family Arena. Illinois State looks to capture its fifth Valley Tournament title Sunday. The Redbirds are 4-3 when playing in the championship game. The game can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet Chicago, ESPN3, FOX Sports Midwest and DirecTV.

Illinois State and Wichita State split the regular season series, with WSU winning the first meeting on February 1, while ISU came out on top in the most recent meeting on Feb. 28 with a last second shot. The Redbirds averaged 55.5 points in the two games, while the Shockers averaged 61.0 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 No. 3. Illinois State has a 20-18 all-time record in the Gateway/Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. ISU’s 20 wins are the fourth-most in conference history

ILLINOIS STATE-WICHITA STATE SERIES
Illinois State leads the all-time series with Wichita State, 42-20. The series began in 1980 and the two teams have met twice annually since 1984. ISU won 15 of the first 17 meetings, with 10 victories coming by double-digits. Wichita State posted a 12-10 record against the Redbirds in the next 22 matchups. Since 2003, ISU is 15-5 against the Shockers, but Wichita State snapped a six-game losing streak to the Redbirds with a 59-56 home win on January, 16, 2011. On a neutral court, WSU leads 1-0
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THIS SEASON VS. WICHITA STATE
Illinois State and Wichita State split the regular season series, with WSU winning the first meeting on February 1, while ISU came out on top in the most recent meeting on Feb. 28 with a last second shot. The Redbirds averaged 55.5 points in the two games, while the Shockers averaged 61.0 points per game over the two contests. ISU had the advantage on the boards, bringing down 53 rebounds compared to WSU’s 48. Three Redbirds averaged double-digit scoring efforts against the Shockers, as Janae Smith almost averaged a double-double with 12.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

ILLINOIS STATE IN VALLEY TOURNAMENT TITLE GAME
For the seventh time in program history, the Redbirds will be playing for a conference tournament title, as they take on Wichita State. Illinois State looks to capture its fifth Valley Tournament title Sunday. The Redbirds are 4-3 when playing in the championship game, with the most recent title coming on March 16, 2008, when ISU defeated Drake, 70-62. Sunday’s game marks the second time ISU will take on WSU in the tournament and the first time in the championship game.

REDBIRDS IN MVC TOURNAMENT
Illinois State has an 20-18 all-time record in the Gateway/Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. ISU’s 20 wins are the fourth most in conference history, behind Missouri State (36), Drake (35) and Creighton (23). 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.

45 MINUTES
For the first time this season, the Redbirds needed more time to grab a win, as they went into overtime against Creighton in the semifinal round of the 2013 Valley Tournament (March 16). ISU battled back from a nine-point deficit to Creighton in the second half thanks to a 9-0 run that lasted over five minutes, to tie the game with just over two minutes to play, while CU missed eight-straight field goal attempts to end regulation in a tie, 55-55. ISU scored nine points in the OT period, while CU netted six, giving ISU the 64-61 victory and ticket to the championship game.

 SHE DID IT AGAIN
For the second-straight game of the conference tournament, Candace Sykes recorded a double-double , as she helped the Redbirds secure a 64-61 overtime win against Creighton (March 16). In the game, Sykes poured in 18 points and collected 12 rebounds, leading ISU in both categories. The night before against Bradley (March 15), Sykes had 13 boards and 10 points. The back-to-back double-double performances mark the fifth and sixth double-doubles of the season for Sykes and the second time she has had two-straight double-doubles this season.

ALL AROUND EFFORT
In ISU’s 64-61 overtime win against the Bluejays (March 16), eight players scored for the Redbirds, with seven tallying points in the first half. With the eight players scoring, ISU had 26 bench points, compared to CU’s four points. Illinois State also had the advantage on the boards, pulling down seven more boards than Creighton with 40. It was the 21st time this season ISU has recorded 40 or more rebounds in a game and the sixth-straight contest with 40 or more boards, beginning against Wichita State (Feb. 28).

BEYOND THE ARC
After making only two three pointers in the first half, Creighton connected on eight in the second half and overtime. The Bluejays, whom lead the country in made three pointers per game with 9.4 per game, came out hot from beyond the arc in the second half.CU hit 4-of-5 from three-point range to start the second half and take its first lead of the game, but a dry spell by Creighton gave ISU an opportunity to go on a run. From the end of regulation into the overtime period, CU missed 12-straight field goal attempts.

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