|Redbirds start five-game home stand with victory|
|Written by Todd Marver, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Thursday, 29 November 2012 22:45|
The first time the ISU women’s basketball team (4-2) took to Doug Collins Court was over four weeks ago against Wisconsin-Parkside in an exhibition contest.
The Redbirds returned to their home court for just the second time since then on Thursday night to once again face and defeat a squad from Wisconsin, defeating Milwaukee, 74-54. The win marks three consecutive victories for ISU.
“It was a great win and a great team effort,” ISU head coach Stephanie Glance said.
Glance was pleased with her team’s ability to limit UW-M’s three-point shooting to just 22.7 percent on the night and win the rebounding battle.
“We really won the game on the defensive end of the floor, holding a very good three-point shooting team to just over 20 percent in the game and one-for-10 in the second half, and rebounding with a margin of 53 to 30,” Glance said.
A trio of players tallied over two-thirds of the points for the Redbirds. ISU sophomore forward Janae Smith headed the Redbirds’ offensive attack with 18 points.
Senior guard Jamie Russell registered 17 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Fellow senior guard Candace Sykes also recorded a double-double, adding 16 points and 11 rebounds.
“[Russell and Sykes] had two big double-doubles and that is huge for us,” Glance said. “Janae had another productive game with 18 points in 19 minutes. That’s about as productive as you can get on the offensive end.”
After facing an early 7-4 deficit just over three minutes into the first half and going scoreless from the field for the first four minutes of the game, the Redbirds went on a 13-4 run.
The surge was highlighted by Russell’s six points, three by Sykes and two points each from junior guard Chloe Nelson and Smith to grab a 17-11 advantage with 12:05 remaining in the opening period.
The Panthers scored the next bucket to slice the ISU lead to four points at 17-13 less than a minute later, but UW-M did not get any closer for the remainder of the contest.
The Redbirds outscored the Panthers, 18-6 to take their largest lead of the first half, 35-19 with 3:56 left. The run consisted of five points each from Smith and Russell and two points apiece by Sykes and sophomore forwards Maddie Oliver and Brianna Puni.
UW-M closed the ’Birds lead to single digits at 37-28 with 40 seconds remaining in the opening half, but a three-pointer by Sykes gave the Redbirds a 40-28 advantage heading into the locker room for the halftime break.
The Redbirds scored just four points in the first six minutes of the second half, as the Panthers got within nine points again at 44-35. But a Sykes three-point play and three-pointer by senior guard Alexis Jenkins helped ISU go on an 8-2 run to take a 52-37 lead.
ISU opened up its largest lead to that point with a 58-41 advantage with 9:37 remaining in the second half. However, the Panthers countered with a 7-1 run to cut the deficit to 59-48 with 8:07 left in the period.
ISU responded with a 10-0 surge of its own via Smith’s five points, three from Sykes and two points by Russell to take its largest lead of the night at 21 points, 69-48 with 5:32 left in the contest. The Redbirds went on to win by the same 21-point margin, 75-54.
ISU returns to Redbird Arena for its second contest of a five-game home stand against Michigan at 7 p.m. on Dec. 5.