|ISU sweeps season series|
|Written by Todd Marver, Senior Staff|
|Sunday, 24 February 2013 20:38|
Illinois State (18-8, 10-4 Missouri Valley Conference) swept the season series over Indiana State with a 63-54 victory against the Sycamores in Terre Haute, Ind., on Sunday. The first meeting this season between the two teams came in a 66-65 win for the Redbirds.
“I am really proud of them for not just winning the game, but for how we won it and that we played with integrity and class,” ISU head coach Stephanie Glance said to WJBC Radio. “I’m very proud of them for doing that and those are the kinds of lessons that we try to teach them.”
Sophomore forward Brianna Puni headed the Redbirds offensively with her first career double-double including 17 points and 10 rebounds on the day. Senior guard Candace Sykes also registered a double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Freshman guard Alexis Foley joined Puni and Sykes in double figures with 13 points.
“I say all the time that Brianna Puni is a player that could average a double-double and she continues to work towards that,” Glance said. “She can do that and it’s the first one of her career, but we’re going to challenge her for many, many more.”
With the Redbirds clinging to a one-point advantage at 8-7 with 13:49 left in the opening half, the Sycamores went on a 6-0 run to grab a 13-8 lead with 11:39 remaining in the first half.
But Illinois State responded with six-consecutive points of its own to regain the lead at 14-13 with 10:25 until halftime. From there, Indiana State outscored the ’Birds, 7-3, to grab a three-point advantage, 20-17, with 6:23 left in the opening half.
ISU countered with a 9-0 run to take a six-point lead, 26-20, with 4:05 remaining in the first half.
The Sycamores scored the next four points to close within two points, 26-24 with 3:14 until halftime, but the Redbirds went into the locker room with a four-point advantage, 30-26.
ISU extended its advantage to seven points, 37-30, just two minutes into the second half.
The ’Birds took their largest lead of the game to that point, eight points, at 41-33 with 13:43 left in the game. But Indiana State responded with eight-consecutive points of their own to tie the score at 41 with 10:04 remaining in the second half.
ISU countered by outscoring the Sycamores, 8-4, to take a four-point lead, 49-45, with 4:25 remaining in the contest.
The Redbirds continued extending their advantage by going on an 8-0 run, at 57-45 with 2:02 left in the game. Illinois State went on to defeat Indiana State by the score of 63-54.
“Indiana State had seven offensive rebounds in the first half and we know they battle on the boards,” Glance said. “I just felt like we got tougher down the stretch.” The Redbirds return to the Redbird Arena floor against league-leading Wichita State at 7:35 p.m. on Thursday.