Women's Basketball Hosts Ball State in Fourth-Straight Home Game

Dec. 14, 2012

Game 9 | illinois state vs. ball state
Date: Sunday, Dec. 16 at 1:05 p.m.
Location: Normal, Ill. | Redbird Arena
Live Stats: GoRedbirds.com
Twitter: @ISUwbb



NORMAL, Ill. - After taking eight days off for finals, the Illinois State women's basketball team will host Ball State Sunday, in its fourth-straight home game in a five-game homestand. The Redbirds and the Cardinals will face off on the hardwood at 1:05 p.m., in the first game of an ISU basketball double header.

Sunday's game will mark the 11th meeting between Illinois State and Ball State. The Redbirds hold a 6-4 advantage, winning the most recent game during the 2011-12 season on Nov. 11, 2011, in Muncie, Ind. Illinois State won by 11 points, 63-52. The series dates back to the 2001-02 season. ISU holds a 4-1 record in games played at Redbird Arena. The last time the two teams met in
Normal, Ill., was Dec. 9, 2010, when the Redbirds defeated the Cardinals, 77-51.

In ISU's last game, a 64-46 win against Northwestern, Dec. 7, Jamie Russell led Illinois State with 24 points and 10 rebounds, recording the second double-double of the season and her career. The senior guard also had five assists and three steals in 34 minutes. Katy Winge had a career-high 12 points, thanks to four shots from behind the arc in 21 minutes.

Illinois State out-rebounded Northwestern by 15 boards, 54-39. Out of ISU's 54 total rebounds, 21 were offensive boards, which allowed the Redbirds to have 19 second-chance points. The 21 offensive boards were the most for Illinois State this season. The ISU defense was also a force to be reckoned with, as Northwestern only scored 46 points, shooting 28 percent from the field.

• Ball State is located in Muncie, Ind., and has an enrollment of 21,000.
• The Cardinals are members of the Mid-American Conference.
• BSU ended the 2011-12 season with a 9-20 mark and a 4-12 in MAC play, for a sixth-place finish in the West Division.
• Former Redbird Ashleen Bracey is an assistant coach for the Cardinals.

After an uncharacteristic performance by senior guard Jamie Russell against Michigan (Dec. 5) with two points and one rebound, the senior regrouped and got back to her old self. Russell led all scorers in Illinois States 18-point win, 64-46, over in-state rival Northwestern on Dec. 7. Russell poured in 24 points, shooting 9-of-18 from the field and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line. It was the third time this season Russell has scored 20 or more points in a game and the eighth of her career. It was also Russell's third double-double of the season, as she brought down 10 boards, including seven offensive rebounds. The Rock Falls, Ill., native added five assists and three steals in 34 minutes of play. On the season, Russell is connecting on 39 percent of her shots and leads the Redbirds with 16.3 points per game. She has made 96 percent of her free throws, missing just one (26-of-27) and is second on the team in rebounds with 6.8 per game. Russell also leads ISU in assists (32) and steals (23).

In the Redbirds' win over the Wildcats, Illinois State out rebounded Northwestern, 54-39, marking its third-largest margin of the season. Out of ISU's 54 rebounds, 21 came on the offensive end, the most offensive rebounds for the Redbirds this season. Senior Jamie Russell led Illinois State with 10 rebounds, including seven offensive boards. After struggling on the boards against Michigan (Dec. 5) with the Redbirds only grabbing 24 rebounds, ISU regrouped and brought down 30 more boards than Northwestern. ISU's 54 boards against Northwestern is a season high.

The last time the Illinois State women's basketball team held an opponent to less than 50 points came earlier this season, when the Redbirds defeated Morehead State, 62-45, in the opening round of the Preseason WNIT on Nov. 9th. ISU did it again versus Northwestern (Dec. 7), as the Wildcats shot 28 percent from the field and had 46 points in Illinois State's 64-46 victory. Morehead State connected on 37 percent of its shots from the field, but only had four second chance points and six fast break points, scoring 45 points in the Redbird win.

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. The Redbirds fell to Iowa in the second round of the Preseason WNIT on Nov. 11, in Iowa City Iowa and Michigan on Dec. 5, but Illinois State defeated Northwestern by 18 points, 64-46, on Dec. 7. The Redbirds will travel to in-state rival Illinois on Dec. 21 to face their last Big Ten rival. The Redbirds will have played two roads games and two home games against Big Ten opponents at the end of the nonconference schedule. 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 campaign, when the Redbirds competed against Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State and Wisconsin. ISU went 3-1 over Big Ten rivals during that season.

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