ISU Travels to Butler for Final Non-Conference Game of the Season

Dec. 28, 2012

Game 12 | illinois state at Butler
Date: Sunday, Dec. 30 at 1 p.m. (CST)
Location: Indianapolis | Hinkle Fieldhouse
Game Notes: Illinois State | Butler
Live Stats: GameTracker
Live Video: ButlerSports

 

 

NORMAL, Ill. -The Illinois State women’s basketball team will close out its non-conference schedule at Butler, Dec. 30. The Redbirds and the Bulldogs will compete on the hardwood at 1 p.m. (CST).

ISU recorded a season-high 25 turnovers against in-state rival Illinois, but despite the turnovers, the Redbirds defeated the Illini, 69-68, on Dec. 21 at the Assembly Hall. In the win, the Redbirds out-rebounded the Illini, 41-34, and had 28 more bench points.

Candace Sykes netted 22 points, sinking six shots from beyond the arc. Sykes was 8-of- 17 from the field, shooting 50 percent from three-point range. Janae Smith added 13 points. Smith and Sykes both pulled down seven boards. For her performance against Illinois (Dec. 21) and Princeton (Dec. 19), Smith was named the Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week for the fifth time this season.

Sunday’s game will mark the fourth meeting between Illinois State and Butler. Illinois State holds a 2-1 advantage, winning the most recent game during the 2009-10 season on March 17, 2010, in Normal, Ill. ISU won by three points, 57-54, in the WNIT. The series dates back to the 2001-02 season. The Redbirds hold a 1-0 record in games played in Hinkle Fieldhouse. The last time the two teams met in Indianapolis was on Dec. 21, 2003, when ISU defeated Butler, 83-69.

ABOUT BUTLER
• Butler is located in Indianapolis, and has an enrollment of 4,200
• The Bulldogs are members of the Atlantic 10 Conference, which they joined prior to the 2012-13 season
• The Bulldogs ended the 2011-12 season with a 13-17 mark and were 9-9 in the Horizon League, finishing in fifth place

SIMILAR OPPONENTS
The Redbirds and the Bulldogs have both faced off against Ball State this season, and by the end of the 2012-13 season, the two teams will have also competed against Indiana State. Butler took on Ball State in its second game of the season, winning 70-62. The Redbirds hosted Ball State over a month later and defeated BSU, 71-56. The Bulldogs’ most recent game was against Indiana
State, when Butler defeated the Sycamores, 56-45. Illinois State and Indiana State will compete twice during the conference portion of the 2012-13 schedule.

SMITH GRABS FIFTH WEEKLY HONOR
Sophomore transfer Janae Smith was named the Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week for the fifth time this season, as announced by the league office Thursday. Smith most recently won the award on Dec. 17. Smith recorded her second-straight double-double performance, as she led the Illinois State women’s basketball team with 17 points and a career-high 16 rebounds in its loss to Princeton (Dec. 19). She shot 41 percent from the field, making 7-of-17. In 38 minutes, Smith also dished out two assists and had a steal. In ISU’s win over in-state rival Illinois (Dec. 21), Smith netted 13 points and brought down seven boards in the 69-68 victory. She was 5-of-11 from the field, handed out four assists and had a steal in 37 minutes. The Matteson, Ill., native is the leading scorer for Illinois State, averaging 15.5 points per game with a 51 percent field goal percentage. Smith also leads the team with 8.8 rebounds per game and 10 blocks, averaging 32.7 minutes per game.

HOLDING ON FOR THE WIN
The Redbirds’ 69-68 victory over in-state rival Illinois (Dec. 21) was their closest game and victory of the 2012-13 season. In a game that was made up of runs and saw 16 lead changes, free throws proved to be the deciding factor. Jamie Russell connected on three free throws with less than two minutes to play in the contest, which would be ISU’s only points in the final three minutes of the game. With a 69-68 ISU advantage, Illinois’ Karisma Penn was fouled with 37 seconds to play. Penn missed both free throws, and the Illini missed a last second three-point attempt to secure the win for the Redbirds.

TURNOVER CITY
The Redbirds had a season-high 25 turnovers against Illinois on Dec. 21, with 16 coming in the first half, but despite the 25-18 turnover margin, Illinois State was able to hold on to its halftime lead and win the game by one point, 69-68.

BENCH POINTS
In the Redbirds’ loss against Memphis, ISU’s bench outscored the Tigers, 23-17, marking the first 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 Illinois, ISU scored 41 bench points, a season high, compared to the Illini’s 13 points. The Redbird bench is outscoring opponents by 89 points, 247-158, through 11 games.

PULLING DOWN REBOUNDS
ISU brought down 41 boards for the second-straight game last week against Princeton (Dec. 19) and Illinois (Dec. 21). At Illinois, the Redbirds and the Illini both grabbed 13 offensive boards, but Illinois State had 28 defensive boards compared to Illinois’ 21, giving ISU the 41-34 advantage on rebounds. Against Princeton, the Redbirds brought down 41 rebounds, but the Tigers had one more board than Illinois State with 42. The Redbirds grabbed twice as many offensive rebounds as the Tigers. ISU tallied 18 offensive boards, the third-highest offensive rebound output this season for ISU, while Princeton had nine.

BOUNCING BACK
In the Illinois State women’s basketball team’s loss to Princeton, the Redbirds shot 23.4 percent from the field compared to the Tigers’ 46 percent. Despite the lack of offense in the game, ISU regrouped and made 44 percent of its shots from the field in its 69- 68 victory over Illinois (Dec. 21), which was the Redbirds’ second-highest shooting percentage of the season. Candace Sykes and Janae Smith netted double-digit performances in the win.

‘BIRDS BATTLE THE BIG TEN
Nearing the end of the Illinois State women’s basketball team’s 2012-13 nonconference schedule, the Redbirds 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 bounced back and defeated Northwestern by 18 points, 64-46, on Dec. 7. ISU topped in-state rival Illinois (Dec. 21), 69-68, for its second-straight victory over a Big Ten opponent. ISU finished the 2012-13 non-conference schedule with a 2-2 record over Big Ten foes. 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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