|ISU women’s basketball grabs two road wins|
|Written by Emily Warner, Daily Vidette Sports Editor|
|Sunday, 25 November 2012 14:57|
Although the ISU women’s basketball team opened up its string of games over Thanksgiving break with a close loss to Memphis at Redbird Arena on Nov. 18, the ’Birds rebounded on the road with wins at Illinois-Chicago and Western Kentucky and with four Redbirds posting double-digit figures in both contests.
ISU 83, Western Kentucky 68
Although the Lady Toppers tried to take away shots from two of ISU’s top performers in sophomore transfer Janae Smith and senior Jamie Russell, the Redbirds made use of their artillery of scorers with senior Candace Sykes scoring 22 points, senior Alexis Jenkins scoring 10 and Russell and Smith each contributing 11.
“I thought Western Kentucky’s game plan was clearly to contain Janae and Jamie and keep them way under their scoring,” ISU head coach Stephanie Glance said to WJBC radio. “They sent two people to double team Janae most of the night and so other people really had to step up for us … everybody stepped up all the way around.”
ISU also received offensive output from sophomores Maddie Oliver and Katy Winge, with each scoring nine points.
The Redbirds led the Lady Toppers from start to finish, beginning with a 6-0 run to open the game. WKU trailed 36-28 at the half, but managed to get within six points with just under 18 minutes left of play and the score 42-36, but ISU’s sharp shooting helped the ’Birds grab the win.
“We had four in double figures, but two with nine, and that’s really good for us,” Glance said.
ISU 86, UIC 74
The Redbirds started their two-game road swing in Chicago to take on the Flames. Sykes went 7-for-14 from the floor including a trio of three-point baskets to lead the ’Birds with 20 points. Smith (18), Russell (14) and Jenkins (13) also put up points for ISU.
The teams exchanged points throughout the first half with ISU grabbing a slight lead over UIC heading into halftime, 34-31.
An 11-2 run in the second half opened up the Redbirds’ lead, 49-38. But the Flames were not extinguished yet as they cut their deficit to four, 68-64, with 7:27 remaining in the game. ISU pushed to build their lead to 10 with a minute to go, securing the Redbird victory.
The Redbirds wrapped up their play in the Preseason WNIT as they hosted Memphis. The score was close throughout the first half, but the Tigers pulled away to garner a 43-36 advantage heading into the break.
Sophomore transfer Janae Smith tallied 19 points in the first half for ISU.
The ’Birds cut their deficit to one point in the second half after back-to-back layups courtesy of freshman Alexis Foley to make it 57-56 with 11:39 remaining in the contest.
But with the score 76-74 and one minute left of play, the Redbirds were unable to find the equalizer, picking up the loss.
Smith led the Redbirds with a career-high 31 points, while seniors Candace Sykes and Jamie Russell each put up double-digit figures, contributing 13 and 12 points, respectively.
ISU (3-2) will play its next five games on Doug Collins Court, starting with Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Thursday night.