- The Indiana State women's basketball team used a 26-0 run over nine minutes
of action in the second half on Thursday night, turning a 13-point deficit into
a 13-point lead en route to a 55-48 road victory over the Evansville Purple
Aces inside Ford Center.
Indiana State improved to 15-8 overall and 7-5 within the Missouri Valley Conference on Thursday, edging past Evansville (8-14, 6-5 MVC) for fourth place in the league standings with the win. The Sycamores have now won four straight on the road against the Purple Aces.
ISU started the game with ice-cold shooting from the field, knocking down just two of their first 25 attempts from the field and finishing just 4-for-31 (12.9%) in the first half.
Evansville took a 26-15 lead into the halftime locker room, holding Indiana State to a season-low total in the opening 20 minutes of action. ISU's 15 points were their fewest in a half since also scoring 15 points in the first half at Notre Dame in the Preseason WNIT on Nov. 13, 2011.
In the second half, Evansville took a 32-19 lead with 14:26 remaining on a free throw by Meagan Collins before Indiana State began their wild comeback.
Freshman Kasey Johnson sparked the ISU run, converting a layup following a steal by senior Taylor Whitley with 13:46 remaining before knocking down a three-pointer from the left corner with 12:39 to go, cutting the UE lead to 32-24.
Sophomore Racheal Mahan took over on the offensive end after that, scoring eight of the next 10 points for the Sycamores, including a layup with 8:13 remaining to give Indiana State their first lead of the game at 34-32. The run continued as freshman Marina Laramie, Whitley, sophomore Natasha Zurek and junior Anna Munn each converted in the paint to push the lead to 42-32 with 5:04 to go.
Mahan capped the 26-0 run for the Sycamores, tallying a three-point play with 4:33 remaining and giving Indiana State 45-32 lead. During the Indiana State run, ISU's defense forced the Purple Aces to shoot 0-for-8 from the field with nine turnovers.
ISU's comeback from a 13-point deficit was their largest since winning 48-42 at Southern Illinois on Jan. 29, 2011, also rallying after trailing by 13 points inside SIU Arena.
Mahan finished with game-high 17 points, also pulling down seven rebounds. Whitley added nine points and eight rebounds with Zurek chipping in nine points and three steals off the bench. Munn turned in an all-around stat line of eight points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Indiana State looks for their 10th consecutive win over Southern Illinois (4-18, 1-10 MVC) on Saturday, as the Sycamores travel to SIU Arena for a 3:00 p.m. (ET) tipoff with the Salukis. The game can be seen live in the Wabash Valley on WAWV-TV with Jason Pensky on the call.