Redbirds Upend Western Illinois, 69-56
Dec. 19, 2007
NORMAL, Ill. - Sophomore guard Maggie Krick tallied her third-career 20-plus scoring output with a game-high 21 points to lead a balanced scoring attack, as Illinois State's women's basketball team defeated visiting Western Illinois, 69-56, on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena Wednesday night. The win was ISU's fifth straight and its ninth of 10 overall, which ties the best start (9-1) in program history.
Krick led all scorers with 21 points, while Kristi Cirone (12 points) and Tiffany Hudson (10) also contributed double-digit scoring efforts. Stephanie Lovingwood led Western Illinois with 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting.
The Redbirds fought off an early Western Illinois surge with a 15-8 run midway through the first half, and took a 37-34 lead at halftime. ISU broke open the game early in the second half, going on a 21-6 run to take a commanding 58-44 lead. The Redbirds never let the Westerwinds get any closer than eight points for the remainder of the contest.
The Redbirds owned a 34-30 rebounding advantage and tallied 19 assists to just 14 turnovers. ISU was held to less than 70 points for the first time this season, but still shot 49.2 percent from the field.
Western Illinois came out hot, hitting six of its first seven shots to take a 14-9 lead. But the Redbirds stayed within striking distance, and cut the lead to 20-19 at the game's second media timeout (10:07). Hudson paced ISU's early charge with two three-pointers, while Cirone chipped in five points. Lovingwood had eight points in the first eight minutes of the game.
The Redbirds took their first lead (24-22) with 7:23 remaining in the opening stanza after a three-pointer by Cirone. ISU held Western Illinois to just two points over the ensuing four minutes, and built as large as a six-point advantage. Ashleen Bracey and Nicolle Lewis each converted field goals in the stretch. But Western Illinois ended the half on a 10-7 spree, and cut the lead to 37-34 heading into the locker room at halftime.
Cirone's eight first-half points led a balanced scoring attack for ISU. Lewis and Krick each contributed six points, Shala Jackson added five and Bracey chipped in four points. Lovingwood scored a game-high 10 points to lead WIU in the opening stanza.
The Westerwinds claimed a 38-37 lead with just under 17 minutes remaining in the second half, their first advantage since the 8:17 mark of the first frame. But the Redbirds responded with a 6-0 run to take a 43-38 lead, and force WIU into its first timeout of the half. Lashawn Johnson converted two field goals from the post in the spree.
The Redbirds' lead was extended to 54-40 with 11:32 remaining after Krick went on a dominating scoring flurry, pouring in eight-straight points over a two-minute, 21-second stretch. After WIU pulled within eight (60-52), ISU finished the game on a 9-6 spurt.
Illinois State will have 11 days off for the Christmas holiday before it plays host to in-state foe Northern Illinois Dec. 31 in the Redbirds' non-conference finale. Tip-off from Redbird Arena is set for 2:05 p.m.