Welcome to the Big Dance: ISU Arrives In West Lafayette
March 22, 2008
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Illinois State women's basketball team arrived in West Lafayette, Ind., Friday night and had its first official day of NCAA Tournament festivities Saturday. After being welcome to West Lafayette with Easter baskets from their host family, the Redbirds came to Mackey Arena Saturday morning to meet the media and practice in the facility.
The Redbirds arrived at Mackey Arena at 11:15 a.m. for practice. Head coach Robin Pingeton, junior guard Kristi Cirone and sophomore guard Maggie Krick participated in a press conference and talked about the experience of being in the NCAA Tournament.
"These girls have grown up watching the NCAA Tournament," said Pingeton. "We are so excited to be in West Lafayette and are looking forward to participate in this event. We have worked hard all season and these players have earned the right to be here this weekend. They have been focused on this goal all year and know what it is all about."
Cirone has appreciated the advice that her teammates who have been through the NCAA Tournament before have provided.
"We have talked about the experience quite a bit," said Cirone. "They've said it's very intense and we just need to come in with the mindset of playing tough because we are going to play some great teams."
After all of the media obligations were fulfilled, the Redbirds practiced on Gene Keady Court for the first time. ISU had a 50-minute practice of various shooting drills, offensive and defensive sets and scouting Oklahoma.
The 13th-seeded Redbirds (26-6, 13-5 MVC) take on fourth-seeded Oklahoma (21-8, 11-5 MVC) on Sunday at 11 a.m. CDT on ESPN 2.