Redbirds Advance to Second Round of Preseason WNIT at Iowa

Nov. 10, 2012

Game 2 | illinois state at Iowa
Date: Sunday, Nov. 11 at 2 p.m.
Location: Iowa City, Iowa | Carver-Hawkeye Arena
Game Notes: Illinois State | Iowa
Twitter: @ISUwbb

NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State women’s basketball team defeated Morehead State in the opening round of the 2012 Preseason WNIT and advanced to the second round. ISU will travel to Iowa City, Iowa, to take on Iowa Sunday at 2 p.m., in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Preseason WNIT is an annual invitation-only tournament involving 16 of the nation’s top women’s Division I basketball teams. A team may participate only once in a four-year period. Additionally, only one institution per conference may play in the tournament in the same year. Teams are selected for the Preseason WNIT based on their program’s expected success for that season, their relevant past, their conference standings, fan base and geographical location.

Illinois State and Iowa will meet for the seventh time Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m., in the Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. The Hawkeyes hold a 5-1 advantage over the Redbirds in the first six meetings. Iowa won the most recent game, which was played at Iowa City, Iowa, on Nov. 15, 2009. The Hawkeyes won the game by eight points, 75-67. ISU won the very first meeting, 90-48, on Jan. 24, 1976 in Iowa City.

ABOUT IOWA

  • Iowa is located in Iowa City, Iowa, and has an enrollment of 30,328.
  • The Hawkeyes are members of the Big Ten Conference.
  • The Hawkeyes finished 22-9 last season, making their fourth-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament
  • Iowa returns four starters from the 2011-12 season
  • The Hawkeyes have a freshmen class that was ranked No. 11 by ESPNHoopGurlz.com

HEIGHT DIFFERENCE
When it comes to a height chart, Iowa has the advantage over Illinois State. The Hawkeyes start Morgan Johnson at forward and Bethany Doolittle at center. The duo in the paint measure in at 6-5 and 6-4, respectively. Iowa also starts three guards, who range in height from 5-8 to 5-11. ISU starters in the paint are sophomores Maddie Oliver and Janae Smith. The pair is 6-1 and 6-2, respectively. Senior center Megan Grace stands at 6-4, the Redbirds’ tallest player.

IN A REDBIRD UNIFORM
Freshmen Octavia Crump, Alexis Foley and Stekara Hall saw the court in ISU’s season opener and played a crucial part. Foley started the game for the Redbirds and hit a pair of threes to start the second half of the game against Morehead State to give ISU the momentum, leading to the 62-45 win. In 28 minutes, Foley scored nine points, brought down two boards and recorded an assist and a steal. Crump was a force to be reckoned with on the boards, as she led all rebounders with 11, including four offensive boards. Crump also added seven points in 17 minutes. Rounding out the freshmen class was Hall, who scored three points, while recording a block, a steal and a rebound in the first-round win of the Preseason WNIT.

DE-DE-DE-DEFENSE
ISU was aggressive on defense in its first game of the regular season, especially in the second half, as Morehead State only made 25 percent of its shots from the field (6-of-24), shooting 17-of-46 for the game (37 percent). The Redbirds also recorded 10 steals with Jamie Russell taking away three and four blocks, two coming from Janae Smith.

BRINGING DOWN BOARDS
The Redbirds outrebounded the Eagles by 17 boards, 40-23, in ISU’s 62-45 victory Friday. ISU brought down 18 rebounds in the first half, while MSU grabbed 10. In the second half, Illinois State kept the momentum going, as it recorded 22 boards compared to Morehead State’s 13. Freshman Octavia Crump led all rebounders with 11 boards in the season opener.

WATCHING RUSSELL
Illinois State senior guard Jamie Russell was added to the 2013 Final Four Watch List, as announced by Overseas Basketball Combines. The watch list is made up of seniors eligible for the WNBA draft at the end of the 2012-13 season. Thirty finalists will have the opportunity to attend the Third-Annual Women’s Final Four Combine in New Orleans, April 4-6, to showcase their talents. During the combine, finalists will participate in three scouted games, individual filmed workouts and evaluations of skills. A final roster of finalists will be sent out in February.

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