|Redbirds fly all over Cardinals in fifth season victory|
|Written by Emily Warner, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Friday, 10 December 2010 01:25|
Four seconds was all it took for the Redbirds to take the lead and never look back in the ISU women’s basketball team’s game against Ball State Thursday night at Redbird Arena.
After winning the tipoff, senior guard Hannah Spanich got the ball to score the first of the ‘Birds’ 77 points that would be more than enough to give ISU the win, defeating the Cardinals, 77-51.
From there the ‘Birds continued to execute from the field, shooting 57.1 percent and 70 percent from three-point land. The Redbirds’ offense stemmed from their defense that had Ball State on its heels in the first half.
“The first half we played unbelievable defense,” ISU head coach Stephanie Glance said. “That’s exactly what we had in mind. We dictated what they were able to do offensively and then we got a lot of offense off of our defense. I really feel like that’s the best half of the year that we’ve played defensively.”
Defense has been a focus of the Redbirds in practice and they were pleased to see their hard work transfer into games.
“We’re a team where in the past and this season we’ve always prided ourselves on rebounding and defense,” junior guard Katie Broadway said. “So far our defensive intensity hasn’t been where we know it can be and so we really picked it up in practice and it showed in the first half.”
Halfway through the first half the Redbirds built a 26-11 lead, which included two threes from Broadway, who was hitting them like they were the broad side of a barn, and concluded the game with four three-pointers and a game-high 18 points.
From the rebounding standpoint, it is a job that has mostly been reserved for senior forwards Emily Hanley and Kenyatta Shelton, but ISU’s 51 rebounds were dispersed throughout the roster.
“Everybody really picked it up tonight and we’re still able to have that kind of rebounding margin which, 21 offensive rebounds, 30 defensive,” Glance said. “We almost had as many offensive as defensive and that’s pretty impressive. I’d like to see us keep that stat up and it’s becoming pretty consistent.”
Spanich displayed good hustle throughout the first half and earned her first double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 boards.
ISU’s lead picked up to 22 points when Broadway hit her third three of the game with 6:45 to go in the half to bring the score to 35-13.
Ball State barely got a chance to grab its umbrella before the Redbirds made it rain from beyond the arc with sophomore Alexis Jenkins hitting two three-pointers in the last three minutes and senior guard Shala Jackson hitting one to extend ISU’s lead 49-23 going into half time.
Despite having a commanding lead to start the second half, the Redbirds still maintained strong hustle.
ISU’s defensive intensity did have its lulls later in the half, which correlated to its offensive production, but as the game trickled into its final minutes and the ‘Birds’ victory was secure, they got to test their bench and see what the future of the program may look like.
“We played a lot of people, which I was really glad we could do that [and] to be able to do that and still keep our turnovers down and the margin kind of spread, I was real glad to see that too,” Glance said.
Senior point guard Amanda Clifton had nine assists, a new career-high. Jackson contributed to the ‘Birds scoring with 12 points and Jenkins threw in 10.
ISU improves to 5-2 and will play Nevada when it travels to Cancun, Mexico for the Caribbean Classic.