Missouri State 59 vs ISU 51 at Hulman Center on Feb. 15, 2024
ISU scored 20 in the first quarter to lead by 5, but then only 31 in the final three periods despite scoring 14 in the third.
(Kiley Bess hitting three 3's in the third period was almost all of the ISU offense.)
Defensively, the Lady Sycamores fought hard and were able to hold a good MSU team under 60.
Early in the game, ISU was getting its share of defensive rebounds and getting out on the break to score. As the game progressed, MSU's two 6'3" post players became more dominant, especially with offensive rebounds. ISU was unable to speed up the tempo and struggled in its half court offense.
This became even more apparent when Ella Sawyer went to the bench after her third and fourth fouls and when she exited the game after her fifth.
Two more home games in this homestand. 1 pm Saturday against SIU.
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. –Kiley Bess led Indiana State with 19 points and Ella Sawyer dished out a career-high 12 assists Saturday afternoon, but visiting Southern Illinois scored 50 points in the second half to defeat the Sycamores 80-70 inside Hulman Center.
Sawyer was on triple-double watch by the end of the game, finishing with nine points and seven rebounds in addition to her career-best mark in assists. Bess pulled down five rebounds for the Blue and White, while Bella Finnegan also finished in double-figures for the Sycamores with 10 points.
Indiana State got off to a slow start, with the visitors jumping out to an early lead in the first quarter. The Sycamores pulled their way back thanks to nine points between Bess and Finnegan in the opening quarter, then used a 3-point barrage from Keslyn Secrist in the second quarter to take a 33-30 lead at the half. SIU opened the second half on a 7-0 run and never trailed from that point on, though. Indiana State was within three early in the fourth quarter, but a 15-2 Saluki run broke the game open.
Lady Sycamores down the Aces 69-66. This was a must-win for ISU against an Aces team that was 4-21 I believe based on the post-game radio show.
There is a lot to unpack. After three straight losses, the win moves ISU to 5-10 in Valley play.
Ella Sawyer scored the last seven points for ISU going 5/5 at the FT line. For the game, ISU was 17/20 at the line which proved to be decisive.
Coach Johnson applied the full-court press with ISU trailing with about two minutes to play. It resulted in three consecutive turnovers and a complete reversal of the game's momentum and status.
Kiley Bess & Chelsea Cain both registered double-doubles. This is the first time ISU women have had two double-double players in the same game in two years.
Freshman Keslyn Secrist scored 5 points in a remarkable 26-point second quarter for ISU. Sawyer also had 5 while Cain put up 10 by herself. Sophomore Center LIly Niebuhr scored four points in the period on very aggressive post moves. She is seeing increased minutes later in the season. She had ISU's only blocked shot late in the game in what proved to be a critical play.
ISU trailed 59-58 at the five-minute mark of the 4th quarter. Mya Glanton scored points 54, 56, and 58 to keep ISU in the game early in the fourth.
Kiley Bess had a similar run in the third quarter scoring ISU's 46, 48, and 50th points.
On the more gloomy side:
Evansville outscored ISU in three of the four quarters. Only the 26-13 margin of the second period showed an ISU advantage.
Aces Freshman post player Maggie Hartwig from Wisconsin was very good with 22 points including a pair of threes. She was complemented by 5'11 freshman Nevaeh Thomas, also from Wisconsin, who scored 20 herself. These two look to be a handful going forward.
Aces Junior Guard Lexie Sinclair made three threes in the game including one for points 64-66. She rimmed out a game-tying three at the buzzer.
The Sycamores are on the road at Bradley on Sunday and back home again for two final home games to be played during the Arch Madness event in St. Louis.