Redbirds Look to Bounce Back Against Another Tough Opponent
Written by Blake Hornstein on February 18, 2021
Image courtesy of goredbirds.com
NORMAL Ill.-The annual Hoops in the Heartland tournament is just around the corner, and the Illinois State Women’s basketball team has shown mixed results against conference foes thus far. After dropping two straight against the conference-best Missouri State Lady Bears, and three of their last four, Illinois State has a chance to prove they can compete with the best in the Valley. That opportunity comes tomorrow and Saturday, as the Drake Bulldogs come to Normal for a back-back homestand.
The Bulldogs come into town winning ten of their 13 in-conference games, second to only Missouri State. Half of those wins have come within the last five contests, as Drake is riding a 5 game win streak. Forward Grace Berg is second in the valley in scoring at 16.4 points per game, and has been a huge part as to why Drake is number one in the MVC in scoring.
ISU will have their hands full, but the defensive play of Paige Saylor and Juju Redmond will work to the redbird’s advantage. Nobody allows fewer points per contest than Illinois State and they’ve shown the ability to keep games close with their pressure on the basketball. Last weekend following a blowout loss to Missouri State, Illinois State went neck-and-neck with the Lady Bears and nearly gave them their first conference loss of the season, falling just short 73-72.
A pair of wins would go a long way in giving the birds a boost of confidence with just five regular season games remaining. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. for Friday and Saturday’s contests. Tune in to the game on 103.3 WZND and WZND.com.
Photo courtesy of goredbirds.com