Redbirds Hit the Road For South Dakota State

Nov. 22, 2010

 ILLINOIS STATE @ SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
 Date  Wednesday, November 25
 Time

 7:05 p.m.

 Radio  WJBC
 Video  None
 Live Stats  Live Stats
 Game Notes  Illinois State // South Dakota State

Illinois State has a Thanksgiving Eve date with South Dakota State, Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. The Redbirds return to Frost Arena for the first time since the 2007 WNIT Quarterfinals.

Illinois State had to fly out to South Dakota mere hours after a triple overtime home win over Rice in the opening round of the WNIT. Over 5,700 fans provided quite the homecourt advantage for the Jackrabbits, who won 61-48.

Illinois State assistant coach Sheila Roux is familiar with South Dakota State as well, having served as a graduate assistant for the Jackrabbits from 2001-03. Roux helped guide South Dakota State to the Division II Final Four twice, winning the 2003 National Championship.

REDBIRDS-JACKRABBITS SERIES
The all-time series between Illinois State and South Dakota State is tied, 1-1. South Dakota State won the first meeting in the second round of the 2007 WNIT, 61-48. Illinois State beat the Jackrabbits at home last season, 79-67.

ILLINOIS STATE 79 - SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 67 (11/19/09)
Illinois State forced 25 turnovers and made 28 free throws to beat South Dakota State, 79-67, in the home opener. Despite making 11 three-pointers, South Dakota State was stifled by its 25 turnovers in the game. Ashleen Bracey led ISU with 25 points and seven rebounds, while Maria Boever led four Jackrabbits in double-figures with 19 points. Hannah Spanich and Kristin Rotert each had 15 points.

BATTLE OF THE MID-MAJORS
Illinois State and South Dakota State have established themselves as two of the premiere mid-major programs in women's college basketball. Both teams have won 20 games in each of the last four seasons, posting a combined record of 205-61, and reached the national postseason four-straight years. IN the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 poll (11/16/10), Illinois State is ranked No. 7 and South Dakota State is ranked No. 11.

STRONG OUT OF THE GATES
Illinois State is 3-0 to start the season for just the sixth time in school history (1973-74, 1982-83, 1983-84, 2005-06, 2007-08). ISU improved to 4-0 in 2005-06 and 2007-08, and went 5-0 in 1973-74.

REDBIRDS TURN UP THE D
Even though the Stephanie Glance era is only three games old, one theme is extremely evident: defense. The Redbirds play tough, pressure defense for all 40 minutes. ISU is holding opponents to just 57.3 points per game and 34.7 percent shooting, while forcing 17.0 turnovers per game. ISU had 16 steals in the win over Eastern Illinois, the most since forcing 14

WELL-BALANCED DIET
The Illinois State offense is the perfect example what a well-balanced diet can do. Despite not having any players ranked in the top-10 in the league in scoring, ISU has the second-best offense in the Valley by virtue of five players averaging at least 9.7 points per game. Emily Hanley leads the team with 11.3 points per game. Katie Broadway, Hannah Spanich and Kenyatta Shelton are all averaging 10.7 points per game, and Shala Jackson is right behind them at 9.7. The Redbirds have had at least three players score in double-figures in all three game, six players who scored at least nine points against Eastern Illinois.