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Redbirds go Triple-Digits in Historic Opener

Written by on November 9, 2023

Image courtesy of Redbird Athletics

NORMAL, Ill – Illinois State Women’s basketball put up a historic performance in their home opener against The University of Nebraska Omaha. This game was the highest scoring effort in a season opener in program history, as the Redbirds beat the Mavericks 105-59 at Baxter Arena.

To begin the game, I-S-U ran away with the lead after an 18-0 run. Leading the way was graduate student DeAnna Wilson. Wilson scored 19 points in just over 19 minutes, also adding eight rebounds to her total. Redshirt-senior Maya Wong added 17 points, tying her career high. She scored majority of her points from deep, shooting 4-5 from three in the first-quarter alone. Wong also added on five rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Junior Caroline Waite scored 17 points in her Redbird debut, shooting 3-7 from three.

The Redbirds put the game to a close in the second half. DeAnna Wilson led the way by scoring seven points herself to stretch the lead to 63-31. The team never stopped pushing the tempo, putting themselves at a comfortable lead of 79-46 to open the fourth-quarter. Redbirds head coach Kristen Gillespie was delighted with her the team performed. Gillespie said “I’m proud of our team’s effort to open the season with a win tonight. It was our first opportunity to compete this season and I thought we played with tremendous energy to start the game”. Gillespie also thinks the team has some work to do. Gillespie said, “We have some areas to improve on but I’m proud of the way our team came together to get a road win”.

The Redbirds will advance from this game with a 1-0 season record. They will stay on the road, where they will take on the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix.