The Illinois State University Redbirds (13-7, 5-4 MVC) are set to renew their I-74 rivalry tomorrow night when they host Bradley (16-4, 7-2 MVC) at Redbird Arena.
Last time out, it was the Braves who got the best of the ’Birds, routing ISU by a final score of 76-61 in early January.
The Redbirds will need to find better efficiency on offense this time around after being held to just five points in the fourth quarter last time out.
ISU will likely need increased scoring production from the duo of TeTe Maggett and Lexi Wallen. Bradley limited Maggett to just 10 points on five of 19 shooting, while Wallen added 15 points after shooting six of 13 from the floor.
Ultimately, the ’Birds will need production from other players besides their top two scorers if they plan to pull out a victory.
Junior Juliunn Redmond posted a team-high 20 points in the previous meeting between the two teams and will be an x-factor in the contest.
The Chicago native is coming off back-to-back MVC Newcomer of the Week honors in which she averaged 15.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg and 3.0 steals per game.
Illinois State will head into the game coming off a disappointing 87-74 road loss to the Valley’s first place team, No. 24 Missouri State (18-3, 8-1 MVC).
The Braves will also look to rebound from back-to-back losses with their latest being a 64-50 defeat at the hands of Southern Illinois (13-7, 5-4 MVC).
Friday night’s match-up will also be the first of three straight home games for ISU. The ’Birds have protected their nest well this season, going 9-1 in 10 games played at Redbird Arena.
Illinois State will be offering free admission in the battle against Bradley as part of the annual “Pack the Arena” night. Fans in attendance will receive pom poms, while 200 students will have the opportunity to go home with a Redbird beanie. Girl scouts will also be at the arena selling cookies.
The ’Birds lead the all-time series with the Braves, 49-28, and will look to avoid being swept by their rival for the second consecutive regular season.
Tip-off for the war on i-74 is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Redbird Arena.