Tonight the Lady Bears traveled to face the Illinois State Redbirds, with hopes to tie the series after losing by one at home on Jan. 22.
The Lady Bears came out in the first quarter ready to play, holding the Redbirds scoreless for over half of the quarter and going up 14-5.
The Redbirds had six turnovers in the first compared to the Lady Bears lone turnover; after the first quarter, the Lady Bears were up 18-7.
Senior forward Abi Jackson found an early layup to extend the Lady Bear lead by two and lead all scorers in the second quarter with six.
After a steal by senior guard Mya Bhinhar, senior guard Brice Calip was able to convert the Redbird turnover into two more Lady Bear points to increase the lead at the half, 31-21.
Coming out after half, the Redbirds found their rhythm and were able to close the large deficit, 39-37. Senior guard Mariah White found an opportunity for a 3-pointer to keep the Lady Bears up.
At the end of the third, Calip was able to find Jackson for a buzzer beater, continuing to lead the Redbirds 53-45 going into the final quarter.
Jackson was able to turn another Redbird turnover into a layup and was able to draw the foul for three more Lady Bear points.
With 1:30 left to play, the Redbirds had cut it back down to a five point game but the Lady Bears were able to stay up with free throws and bring home the win, 75-69.
White led the Lady Bears in points with 21.
“It’s not the 21 points that impressed me, it was the 7-12 shooting,” head coach Amaka “Mox” Agugua-Hamilton said after the game.
“Champions know what to do when their back’s against the wall,” Mox said. “Everyone had great energy and focus. It was a great team win.”
The Lady Bears will continue their Illinois road trip at Bradley on Sunday, Feb. 20.
Follow Makayla Strickland on Twitter, m_strickland28.
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