Hoops in the Heartland logo

MOLINE — Ninth-seeded Illinois State ended a four-game losing streak with a 51-44 win over eighth-seeded Indiana State Thursday at the Missouri Valley Conference women's basketball tournament.

The Redbirds (12-18) advanced to meet top-seeded and 19th-ranked Drake (25-4) at noon Friday in the tournament quarterfinals. 

Seventh-seeded Bradley upended No. 10 seed Loyola 57-42 in the nightcap at the iWireless Center. in a battle of first-year head coaches. The Braves (12-18), coached by former SIU associate coach Andrea Gorski, advanced to meet second-seeded Northern Iowa (22-7) Friday at 6 p.m.

The Ramblers closed a 2-28 season under first-year head coach Kate Achter.

Illinois State led 23-21 at the half and outscored Indiana State 28-23 in the second half. Katrina Beck was the only Redbird in double figures with a game-high 17 points, 15 of which came in the second half.

"We were just rushing our shots in the beginning, and it was just a matter of calming down and taking good shots," Beck said.

Taylor Stewart and Millie Stevens added nine each off the bench for Illinois State, and Brechelle Beachum had eight.

Illinois State won despite playing with only seven players.

Ashley Taia's 15 points and 10 rebounds led Indiana State, which played without suspended players Wendi Bibbins and Ashli O'Neal. Bibbins was the Sycamores' second-leading scorer (10.2 points per game) and leading rebounder at 8.3 per game.

"We had a shortened bench (Thursday night), part of it was, was just mental lapses, you know?," Indiana State coach Joey Wells said. "And I think most coaches will tell you that once you get to this time of the year it is the team that makes the fewest mistakes is usually going to come out on top."

Illinois State outrebounded Indiana State by 12, 44-32 including 18-12 off the offensive glass. The Sycamores shot 28 percent from the field (14 of 50). The two teams' 95 points were the seventh-fewest in a tournament game in league history.

Fourth-seeded SIU (16-13) takes on fifth-seeded Wichita State (14-15) at 2:30 p.m. Friday in the quarterfinals. The Salukis swept the Shockers during the regular season.

No. 3 seed Missouri State (16-13) and sixth-seeded Evansville (13-16) is the nightcap Friday at 8:30 p.m. Saturday's semifinals are scheduled for 1:30 and 4. All the games at the tournament air on ESPN3. 



On Twitter: @THefferman


Sports reporter

Todd Hefferman has covered SIU athletics since 2008. A University of Iowa grad, he is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and a Heisman Trophy voter.

Load comments