Women's Basketball Travels to Take on Illinois-Chicago

Nov. 20, 2012

Game 4 | illinois state at Illinois-Chicago
Date: Wednesday, Nov.21 at 7 p.m.
Location: Chicago, Ill. | The UIC Pavilion
Game Notes: Illinois State | UIC
Twitter: @ISUwbb

NORMAL, Ill. -After finishing 1-2 in the 2012 Preseason WNIT, the Illinois State women's basketball team will travel to Chicago to take on Illinois-Chicago, Wednesday, at 7 p.m., in the UIC Pavilion.

In the Redbirds' third-round loss to Memphis, 76-74, Janae Smith poured in a career-high 31 points and just missed a double-double with nine boards. The sophomore transfer set or tied a career high in seven categories with the stellar performance. For her efforts, Smith was named the Missouri Valley Newcomer of the Week for the second-straight week. It is the third weekly Valley honor for ISU, as Jamie Russell was named the Player of the Week (Nov. 13).

Wednesday's game will mark the 16th meeting between Illinois State and UIC. The Redbirds hold a 13-2 advantage, winning four-straight contests with the most recent coming last season on Nov. 28 in Normal, Ill. ISU posted a convincing 77-56 victory, after then-senior Katie Broadway scored 26 points. The series dates back to the 1976-77 season with ISU and UIC meeting on the hardwood for four-straight seasons.


  • UIC is located in Chicago, and has an enrollment of 27,512.
  • The Flames are members of Horizon League.
  • The Flames ended the 2011-12 season with a 18-13 mark and a 10-8 in conference play for a fourth-place finish.
  • UIC's last postseason appearance was in 2007 in the WNIT.
  • They return two starters and five letterwinners from last year's team and 10 newcomers.

Sophomore transfer Janae Smith was named the Missouri Valley Conference Player and Newcomer of the Week, as announced by the league office on Monday, Nov. 19. It is the second weekly Valley honor Smith. Smith just missed a double-double in her third performance as a Redbird, as the forward poured in a career-high 31 points and brought down nine rebounds in ISU's 76-74 loss to Memphis in the third round of the Preseason WNIT. Smith was 11-of-15 from the field, shooting 73 percent and sank 9-of-10 from the charity stripe. She also recorded a steal in 38 minutes of play. In her stellar performance, Smith set or tied a career high in seven categories. The forward is the second-leading scorer for ISU after three games. She is averaging 18.3 points per game and has brought down 24 boards, with 10 being offensive. Smith is leading the team with three blocks, is second on the team in steals with four and averages 34 minutes per game. It marks the third weekly honor for the Redbirds. Smith and Jamie Russell swept the Newcomer and Player of the Week honors last week (Nov. 13), respectively.

Senior guard Jamie Russell and sophomore forward Janae Smith have made large contributions to the Redbirds early in the season. Both Russell and Smith have recorded 30-plus point scoring performances. Russell tied a career-high with 30 points, shooting 12-of- 28, against Iowa (Nov. 11), as she set or tied a career high in five categories in the game. Russell recorded the first double-double performance of her career. The Rock Falls, Ill., native also accomplished the career-high last season against Eastern Illinois (Nov. 21, 2011). Russell also brought down 12 rebounds, including seven in the second half, and recorded eight steals, just missing a triple-double. In ISU's next game, Smith poured in a career-high 31 points against Memphis (Nov. 18). Smith was 11-of-15 from the field, shooting 73 percent and sank 9-of-10 from the charity stripe.

The Redbirds finished the three-game tournament with a 1-2 record. Illinois State defeated Morehead State, 62-45, Nov. 9 in the opening game. In the contest, the Redbirds were aggressive on defense, 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 recorded10 steals, with Jamie Russell taking away three, and four blocks, two coming from Janae Smith. Against Iowa, ISU fell by 10 points, 74-64, despite Russell tying a career-high 30 points. The Hawkeyes' 32 made free throws proved to be the difference of the game. In the third-round game against Memphis, ISU lost a nail-biter, 76-74, on Nov. 18. In the game, Smith dropped a career-high 31 points and tied a career-high nine rebounds, just missing a double-double for the second-straight game.

The Redbirds have led all opponents in the paint so far during the 2012-13 season. ISU has outscored opponents in the paint, 90-78. Illinois State scored a season-high 40 points in the paint against Memphis (Nov. 18), compared to 36 points in the paint by the Tigers. ISU is outscoring opponents in the paint from a two to six-point margin. The six-point difference was against Morehead State, when ISU sank 26 points in the paint compared to 20 by MSU.

In the Redbirds' loss against Memphis, ISU's bench outscored the Tigers, marking the first time this season Illinois State's bench outscored opponents. ISU outscored Memphis, 23-17, in bench points with 13 coming from senior Candace Sykes. Five Redbirds scored off of the bench in the game.

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