Full Team Effort Lifts Aces to Win at Illinois State
February 15, 2014HOOSIER SPORTS 365
NORMAL, Ill. – It was a full team effort that allowed the University of Evansville women's basketball team to emerge victorious Friday night at Illinois State, as four Purple Aces scored in double figures and six UE players grabbed four or more rebounds in a 75-62 win over the Redbirds on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena.
Freshman Sara Dickey reached the 20-point plateau for the ninth time this season, leading Evansville (9-14, 4-8 MVC) with a game-high 21 points. Senior Katie Ellerson finished just one rebound shy of her first career double-double, as she scored 14 points and hauled in nine boards. Freshman Dakota Weatherford added a career-high 12 points and junior Mallory Ladd tallied 11 points and six rebounds.
The Aces had the hot hand early, hitting eight of their first 13 shots to build an 18-6 lead just over eight minutes into the game. Dickey scored the first seven points of the contest for UE, before senior Miranda Liles capped a 13-0 Evansville run with an insider jumper.
With 9:08 remaining in the opening period, freshman Sasha Robinson put the Aces in front, 25-10, by converting a layup following a Dickey steal, before junior Kat Taylor sank a pair of free throws to give UE its largest lead of the first half at 32-15 with 6:01 remaining in the stanza.
Illinois State (6-15, 5-6 MVC) slowly began to chip away at Evansville's advantage with stingy defense, as the Redbirds held the Aces without a field goal for the final 6:36 of the half and outscored UE, 8-1, over the final six minutes of the period to make the halftime score, 33-23.
Evansville shot 44.0 percent (11-for-25) in the first half, including a 4-for-11 mark from beyond the three-point arc (36.4 percent), while holding ISU to a 32.3 percent shooting clip (10-for-31).
Ladd opened the second half by quickly ending the Aces' field goal drought, as she drained a three from the left wing to push UE's lead to 36-23.
Illinois State got within 11, 45-34, when Zenobia Bess made one of two free throws with 13:10 left in the contest, before Ellerson capped a 9-2 Evansville run with a deep three from the top of the arc, giving the Aces a 54-36 advantage just over four minutes later.
Late in the game, the Redbirds capitalized on poor free throw shooting by UE to cut the margin to 70-60 with 1:08, when Lindsay Smith drained a three from the left corner. However, Evansville rebounded by hitting five of its final six attempts at the charity stripe to secure the 75-62 victory.
Chloe Nelson was the only ISU player to finish in double figures, as she finished with 15 points and was one 10 Illinois State players to score three or more points. Katy Winge grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds for the Redbirds.
The Aces finished the night with a 45.1 percent shooting clip (23-for-51) and went 7-for-19 from long range. ISU sank 23 of its 69 shot attempts for a 33.3 percent clip and outscored UE, 30-18, in the paint, after winning the rebound battle, 46-43.
Evansville will look to extend its winning streak to three games, when it travels to Terre Haute, Ind., Sunday afternoon for a 1:05 p.m. matchup with in-state rival Indiana State.