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Redbirds Date on Valentine’s Day Ends in a Thriller

Written by on February 14, 2020

NORMAL – Redbird Women’s Basketball showed heart on Valentine’s Day after nearly taking down the Loyola Ramblers 86-85 in a double overtime thriller.

Illinois State came into the contest 1/2 a game behind the Ramblers in the MVC standings and looked to end a 2-game skid.  Head Coach Kristen Gillespie said the Ramblers deserved to win given the team’s slow start, but the Redbirds came up big in crunch time to earn a much needed victory.

“I thought (Loyola) played an outstanding 40 minutes,” said Coach Gillespie. “We really struggled to guard the ball but we did enough down the stretch just to get stop when we needed and made some big baskets.”

The Redbirds trailed the Ramblers 64-58 with 0:41 seconds left, but a quick three-pointer by Lexi Wallen and a basket from Tete Maggett off her own steal cut the deficit to a 1-point game. With more than a second to go, Wallen nailed a game tying 3-pointer, and overtime was needed.

The 5th year senior followed her performance late in the game with another game tying layup late in the 1st overtime. Then with :01 to go in the 2nd overtime and the Redbirds down 1, Wallen sunk both of her free throws to seal the victory for ISU.

Wallen finished with a career high 35 points, 10 of which came in the final 0:36 of the 4th.

The Redbirds return to the court Sunday afternoon when they take on the Valparaiso Crusaders. WZND will have live coverage of the game starting at 1:50.