Wednesday's game will mark the fourth meeting between Illinois State and Michigan.
Dec. 4, 2012
NORMAL, Ill. - With a 75-54 win over Wisconsin-Milwaukee last week, the Illinois State women’s basketball team continues its homestand, as it hosts Michigan, Wednesday, at 7:05 p.m.
In ISU’s win over the Panthers, Janae Smith led all scorers with 18 points, shooting 60 percent from the field in 19 minutes. Jamie Russell and Candace Sykes added 17 and 16 points, respectively. Russell set a career-high 13 rebounds, while Sykes had a career-high five assists. Alexis Jenkins tied a career high in assists, dishing out seven.
Wednesday’s game will mark the fourth meeting between Illinois State and Michigan. The Wolverines hold a 3-0 advantage, winning the most recent game during the 2011-12 season on Dec. 22 in Ann Arbor, Mich. Michigan won by 17 points, 76-59. The series dates back to the 1997-98 season. Michigan holds a 1-0 record of games played in Redbird Arena. The last time the two teams met in Normal, Ill., was Dec. 12, 1998, when the Wolverines defeated the Redbirds, 86-43. It is the second time in program history that ISU and Michigan have faced off on the hardwood in back-to-back seasons.
‘BIRDS BATTLE BIG TEN
At the end of the Illinois State women’s basketball 2012-13 nonconference schedule, the Redbirds will have faced off against four Big Ten opponents. Michigan will be the second Big Ten opponent for ISU so far during the 2012-13 season, as the Redbirds fell to Iowa in the second round of the Preseason WNIT on Nov. 11 in Iowa City Iowa. Two days after Illinois State faces Michigan, ISU will host Northwestern, Friday, at 7:05 p.m. The Redbirds will travel to in-state rival Illinois on Dec. 21 to face their last Big Ten rival. ISU is no stranger when it comes to Big Ten opponents, as it has competed against every team that currently makes up the conference. The last time ISU competed against four Big Ten opponents in one season was during the 1990-91 season, when the Redbirds competed against Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State and Wisconsin. ISU went 3-1 over Big Ten rivals during that season.
CONTROLLING THE BOARDS
In the Redbirds’ Nov. 29 victory over Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Illinois State outrebounded the Panthers by 23 boards, 53-30. The Redbirds tied a season-high 19 offensive boards, which they also accomplished at Illinois-Chicago (Nov. 21). Against the Flames, the Redbirds recorded 43 rebounds. ISU’s 53 boards against UWM is a season high.
20 MINUTES OR LESS
In Illinois State’s 75-54 win over Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Janae Smith led all scorers with 18 points despite only playing 19 minutes. Smith shot 60 percent from the field, making 6-of-10, while connecting on 6-of-7 from the free throw line. The sophomore transfer also grabbed five boards, including two offensive rebounds during the game. Smith’s stat line ended with an assist, block and steal. The forward averages 31.2 minutes per game through six contests.
In the Redbirds’ loss against Memphis, ISU’s bench outscored the Tigers, 23-17, marking the fi rst time this season Illinois State’s bench outscored an opponent. Since the Memphis game, Illinois State has poured in more bench points than all of its opponents.
At Western Kentucky, ISU scored 35 bench points compared to WKU’s 22 points. At UIC, the Redbirds tallied 21 more bench points than the Flames. Illinois State’s bench added 27 points to ISU’s total, while Illinois-Chicago’s bench added just six points. At the
Redbirds’ home game against Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Redbirds netted 25 bench points, while the Panthers had 20. Candace
Sykes has led the scoring attack from the bench in all four games. The Redbird bench is outscoring opponents by 30 points, 133-103, through six games.
SENIORS AND FREE SHOTS
Out of five Redbird seniors, four have had a chance to make shots from the free throw line. Out of 42 attempts, the four seniors have made 40 free throws. Jamie Russell leads the Redbirds and is fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference in free throw percentage, making a near-perfect 95 percent through six games. The Rock Falls, native has attempted 21 free throws so far during the 2012-13 season, and has missed just one time. Alexis Jenkins is perfect from the charity stripe. Jenkins has connected on 8-of-8 from the line. Candace Sykes has missed just one shot in 11 attempts, shooting 91 percent. Megan Grace has also made two extra shots in two attempts.
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