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Robinson, Redbirds Roll Tommies in Home Opener

Written by on November 16, 2022

Image courtesy of Redbird Athletics

NORMAL, Ill. – The Illinois State Redbirds women’s basketball team managed to defeat the St. Thomas Tommies 71-56 in their home opener on Tuesday night.

While the box score may indicate a blowout, it took the Redbirds a whole half to gain momentum on their side of the ball. The Redbirds were looking for an answer all night to answer their scoring woes in the first half. The answer was one of the newest Redbird basketball players, Paige Robinson.

The first half was not looking great for the Redbirds. They trailed 20-12 after the first quarter but managed to pull a little closer going into the second half being down 32-31. When the Redbirds came back from the half they managed to hold the Tommies to 24 points for the rest of the game leading them to victory.

Robinson led the offensive attack for the Redbirds. Robinson had 23 points to go along with 4 assists while managing to shoot 53% from the field. Robinson is one of the newest Redbird players after she transferred here from Drury University. At Drury, she was an NCAA-II All-American where she averaged 21 points per game a year ago.

“I let my game come to me and let it flow through the offense and then do it on the defensive end as well,” said Robinson. “Ultimately the team looked for me for scoring which allowed me to fill that role tonight.”

Along with Robinson, senior forward DeAnna Wilson was able to help with the Redbird offensive and defensive attack. Wilson scored 18 points while shooting 66% from the field and grabbed 10 rebounds. Defensively she did it all for the Redbirds recording 4 steals and 2 blocks.

Robinson and Wilson were much needed on a night when Redbird star Mary Crompton was held silent against the Tommie defense.

The Redbirds seemingly switched their offensive approach after the first half, where they were struggling to make their shots. The Redbirds managed to look for shots inside the paint and at the mid-range where they got a majority of their points in the second half.

“We are never going to live and die off shooting threes,” said ISU head coach Kristen Gillespie. “We can find other ways to score, especially in the post where DeAnna [Wilson] is a force.”

After the win on Tuesday night, the Redbirds move to 2-0 on the season. The Redbird’s next matchup is Sunday against Wisconsin at 2 p.m. where you can listen live on 103.3 WZND.