Redbirds Host Ball State In First Home Game of the Season
Kristi Cirone
Kristi Cirone

Nov. 24, 2008

 BALL STATE (2-1) at ILLINOIS STATE (1-2)- NORMAL, Ill.
 Date  Tursday, Nov. 25
 Game Time  7:05 p.m.
 Location

 Normal, Ill. (Redbird Arena)

 Radio  WJBC
(R.C. McBride - Play-by-Play | Jill Hutchsion - color commentary)
 Live Video  Redbird All-Access
 Live Stats GoRedbirds.com

 

The Illinois State women's basketball team (1-2) hosts Ball State (2-1) in its first home game of the season Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. The Redbirds return home after posting a 1-2 record in the Preseason WNIT to start the season.

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kristi Cirone - G - Illinois State
Cirone scored a career-high 35 points on 12-of-15 shooting and had eight assists to lead ISU to its first win of the season against Robert Morris. Cirone also became the fifth Redbird to score more than 1,500 points in her career with that performance. She had 19 points in the first half, including 13 during a pivotal 29-4 Redbird run.

Audrey McDonald - G - Ball State
McDonald set a Preseason WNIT record with 13 three-pointers in the Cardinals' three games in the tournament. McDonald had 25 points on seven three-pointers against Robert Morris and added four more triples against Cleveland State. She is shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc on the season and leads the Cardinals in scoring with 17.3 ppg.

REDBIRDS-CARDINALS SERIES
The all-time series between Illinois State and Ball State is tied, 3-3. The series began in 2001 and Ball State won the first two meetings by double-digits. ISU has won three of the last four meetings, including the last two. Ashleen Bracey recorded her second double-double in three games with 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead ISU to a 71-54 win last year.

WELCOME HOME
After starting the season with three-straight road games, Illinois State opens the 2008-09 home schedule against Ball State. The Redbirds are 20-16 all-time in home-openers, including a 14-6 record at Redbird Arena.

REDBIRDS BREAK OUT OF OFFENSIVE FUNK AGAINST ROBERT MORRIS
ISU's offense took a little while to start up this season. ISU averaged 56.0 points per game and shot 36.2 percent from the field over the first two games of the year. The Redbirds really struggled from three-point range, shooting just 10-for-38, and were only 8-16 from the free throw line. In the final game of the WNIT against Robert Morris, the Redbirds broke out of their funk with a 94-point performance. ISU shot 58 percent from the field, made nine three-pointers, and scored 47 points in each half to win their first game of the season.

DOUBLING UP
Junior Ashleen Bracey and sophomore Shala Jackson have each recorded a double-double in the first two games of the year. Bracey had 11 points and 10 rebounds against Cleveland State for the eighth double-double of her career, which puts her in a tie for eighth in ISU history. Jackson recorded her first-career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds against Robert Morris.

CIRONE CLIMBS THE SCORING CHART
Senior Kristi Cirone has made great strides towards the ISU scoring title in just three games this season. Cirone's 13 points against Tulane moved her past Pat McKinzie for fifth place on the ISU all-time scoring list with 1,495 points. Cirone scored a career-high 35 points against Robert Morris to become the fifth player in ISU history to eclipse 1,500 career points. Next in Cirone's sights is Jenny Schmidt, who is in fourth place with 1,558 career points.