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Courtesy: ISU Athletics
Women’s Basketball Gameday Central: MVC Seeding On The Line As Indiana State Hosts Illinois State
Courtesy:ISU Athletics
Danny Pfrank

The Indiana State women's basketball team looks for their fifth straight win and to move into a tie for third place in the Missouri Valley Conference this Sunday as the Sycamores host Illinois State inside Hulman Center. Tipoff between Indiana State and Illinois State is sponsored by Terre Haute Chevrolet and is set for 2:05 p.m.

The game can be heard live on WIBQ 98.5 FM and on the Nelligan Sports Marketing Radio Network as Brent Holl and Jimmy Kendall cover all the action on the court. Fans can also watch the game live online at GoSycamores.com through SycamoreVision with a premium subscription.

Indiana State enters the game at 16-8 on the season and 8-5 in MVC, sitting in fourth place in the league standings and one game behind Illinois State (17-8, 9-4 MVC) in third place. The Sycamores extended their winning streak to four games last week after sweeping the road swing to Evansville (W, 55-48) and Southern Illinois (W, 77-64) for the fourth consecutive season.

Indiana State is 10-2 at home this season, allowing their opponents an average of 45.9 points per game.

A Little History - Illinois State
Sunday's game will be the 83rd all-time meeting between Indiana State and Illinois State, with the Redbirds leading the series by a 45-37 margin. ISU and ILS first met during the 1971-72 season with the Redbirds coming out on top, 44-26. Illinois State has won seven of the last 10 meetings with Indiana State, including a 66-65 victory inside Redbird Arena earlier this season on Jan. 25. The Sycamores are 11-4 at home against the Redbirds since the 1997-98 season. Under head coach Teri Moren, Indiana State is 3-3 against Illinois State and 2-0 on inside Hulman Center.

Scouting The Redbirds
Illinois State enters Sunday's game at 17-8 on the season, sitting in third place in the MVC standings with a 9-4 record within the league. The Redbirds are 7-4 on the road this season, including an even 3-3 within the MVC. Illinois State enters the matchup on a four-game winning streak, sweeping Drake (81-57) and Creighton (66-60) at home before earning road wins at Southern Illinois (71-68) and Evansville (64-46). The Redbirds employ a balanced attack, ranking in the Top Five in the conference in every team category expect for steals, where they rank sixth. Senior Jamie Russell leads the way by averaging 14.3 points per game, while sophomore transfer Janae Smith (13.6 PPG, 8.6 PRG) and senior Candace Sykes (13.2 PPG, 52 3PTs) also average in double figures.

Game-by-Game - Illinois State
Below is a quick look at the last 10 games in the series between Indiana State and Illinois State.

Jan. 25, 2013 at Illinois State - L, 65-66                   Jan. 8, 2011 at Indiana State - W, 74-55
Feb. 3, 2012 at Illinois State - L, 67-78                    March 12, 2010 at St. Charles, Mo. - L, 39-76
Jan. 6, 2012 at Indiana State - W, 67-53                  Feb. 6, 2010 at Illinois State - L, 61-90
March 11, 2011 at St. Charles, Mo. - W, 80-51         Jan. 8, 2010 at Indiana State - L, 53-69
Feb. 5, 2011 at Illinois State - L, 52-75                    Feb. 7, 2009 at Illinois State - L, 48-69

Last 10 Inside Hulman Center
Below is a quick look at the last 10 games for Indiana State inside Hulman Center.

Feb. 10, 2013 vs. Drake - W, 59-48                         Jan. 4, 2013 vs. Bradley - W, 55-54
Feb. 8, 2013 vs. Creighton - W, 58-41                     Dec. 18, 2012 vs. Chicago State - W, 69-35
Jan. 19, 2013 vs. Evansville - L, 54-55                     Dec. 7, 2012 vs. UIC - W, 64-33
Jan. 17, 2013 vs. Southern Illinois - W, 72-57           Dec. 4, 2012 vs. Northern Illinois - W, 58-52
Jan. 6, 2013 vs. Northern Iowa - L, 52-54                Nov. 25, 2012 vs. Belmont - W, 48-34

At Home Under Head Coach Moren
Indiana State is 31-10 (.756) inside Hulman Center in their three seasons under head coach Teri Moren. In MVC action, the Sycamores are 16-8 in home games since the start of 2010-11, posting a 6-3 record in each of the previous two seasons.

Dominant At Home
Thanks to the home-court advantage of Hulman Center, the Sycamores have been dominant in Terre Haute over the past 11 seasons. Since the 2002-03 season, ISU has played 145 games inside Hulman Center, coming away with victories on 113 occasions.

All About Defense: Part I
Indiana State is well on its way to setting a school record for the fewest points allowed per game for a single season. Below is a quick look at the five best defensive seasons for Indiana State since the inception of 20-minute halves during the 1975-76 season.

Season          Opp. PPG      Total Points        Games       Team Record    Opp. Held Under 50 Points
2012-13          53.0             1,271              24               16-8                          Ten
1975-76            60.2              1,685               28                19-9                          Seven
2008-09            61.9              1,856               30               14-16                          Four
1997-98            62.2              1,742               28               17-11                          Five
2009-10            62.7              1,943               31               17-14                          Four

All About Defense: Part II
Indiana State leads the MVC and enters the week ranking in a tie for 22nd in the NCAA in points allowed per game this season, as ISU's opponents have averaged 53.0 points per game. The Sycamores allowed 64.5 points per game in head coach Teri Moren's first season (2010-11) and 63.4 points per game last season.

Under 61
Indiana State is 37-7 (.841) when holding their opposition under 61 points in their three seasons with head coach Teri Moren, including a 13-5 mark this season. During MVC games, ISU is 18-4 under head coach Moren when teams score 60 points or fewer. When teams go over 61 points against ISU in the last three seasons, the Sycamores are 10-33.

Taylor Whitley Joins The 1,000 Point Club
Senior Taylor Whitley knocked down a jump shot in the first minute of play in second half against Drake on Feb. 10, becoming the 26th member of the 1,000 Point Club at Indiana State. The Geneva, Ill., product ranks seventh in career assists and seventh in career steals at ISU. Below is a quick look at the 1,000 Point Club at Indiana State.

1. Amy Hile (1983-87) - 1,944                                 14. Shannon Thomas (2008-12) - 1,253
2. Kourtney Mennen (1999-03) - 1,843                     15. Hazel Olden (1990-94) - 1,244
3. Melanie Boeglin (2002-06) - 1,800                       16. Laura Rudolphi (2004-08) - 1,208
4. Julie Lein (1987-91) - 1,585                                17. Angie Eichorst (1988-92) - 1,174
5. Barbara Graves (1979-83) - 1,498                       18. Lori Castetter (1985-89) - 1,166
6. Shelly Newell (1976-80) - 1,435                          19. Brittany Schoen (2008-12) - 1,118
7. Amy Vanderkolk (1985-89) - 1,434                       20. Trish Porter (1972-76) - 1,112
8. Kelsey Luna (2006-10) - 1,429                             21. Tammy Hammel (1983-87) - 1,080
9. Georgia Bottoms (1993-98) - 1,383                      22. Deja Mattox (2008-12) - 1,051
10. Judy Ellner (1978-82) - 1,367                            23. Lisa Verhoff (2002-06) - 1,041
11. Amy Walker (1991-95) - 1,333                          24. Rachel Maenpaa (2003-07) - 1,029
12. Livia Hester (1992-96) - 1,332                           25. Taylor Whitley (2009-present) - 1,020
13. Amy Amstutz (1996-99) - 1,274                         26. Stephanie Lisch (2003-06) - 1,007

Sycamores Secure First Winning Season Since 2009-10
With their 77-64 victory at Southern Illinois, Indiana State secured their first winning season under head coach Teri Moren and the program's first since the 2009-10 season. The Sycamores finished an even 16-16 in Moren's debut season in 2010-11 before going 15-16 in 2011-12.

ISU Rallies For Road Victories At Evansville and Southern Illinois
Indiana State trailed at the half at both Evansville (26-15) and Southern Illinois (42-36) last week before posting a pair of second-half runs to earn victories, the first time since Jan. 3, 2009, against Creighton and Jan. 10, 2009, against Illinois State that ISU trailed at the break in back-to-back games before earning wins. On Thursday at UE, ISU trailed by 13 points with less than 15 minutes to play before running off a 26-0 scoring run to turn a 32-19 deficit into a 45-32 lead with four and a half minutes to play. ISU's comeback from 13 points was their largest since also rallying from 13 points down in their 48-42 victory at Southern Illinois on Jan. 29, 2011. On Saturday at SIU, Indiana State began the second half on a 20-4 run to earn their 10th straight victory over the Salukis.

Winning On The Glass
The Sycamores are 13-1 this season when out-rebounding their opponents compared to 3-7 when rebounds are equal or the opposition has more. For the season, Indiana State has posted a 37.5-33.3 (+4.2) average edge on the glass while allowing the fewest rebounds per game in the conference (33.3).

The Sycamores have outscored their opponents by a margin of 690-579 (+111) in the opening 20 minutes of their 24 games this season, while holding a 43-point edge (735-692) in the second half and overtime. This season, Indiana State has led at the half in 16 of their 24 games and is 13-3 when leading at the break.

Looking For Five In A Row In MVC Play
Indiana State enters Sunday's matchup with Illinois State on a four-game winning streak in conference play, the team's longest since starting last season at 4-0 within the league. The last time that the Sycamores won five straight games in MVC action was from Feb. 14-28, 2010.

Field Goal Percentage Defense
Indiana State leads in the conference in field goal percentage defense, allowing their opponents to shoot 445-for-1201 (37.1%) from the field this season. The Sycamores have held an opponent under 40% shooting in 12 games this season, going 10-2 in those contests.

Munn Ranks Second In The Valley In Scoring
Junior Anna Munn leads the team and ranks second in the MVC in scoring, averaging 15.1 points per game this season. The ISU junior tied her career high 27 points at Southern Illinois on Feb. 16, also going for 27 points on the road at Missouri State on Feb. 1. Munn has posted at least 20 points in four games this season, with three coming on the road. If Munn keeps up her 15.1 points per game pace, her average would be the best for a Sycamore since Laura Rudolphi averaged 15.9 points per game during the 2007-08 season.

Assists And Steals
Senior Taylor Whitley ranks seventh in career assists and seventh in career steals at ISU, moving into the Top 10 in both categories this season. For her career, Whitley has posted 351 assists and needs 29 more assists to pass Amy Walker (379 -- 1991-95) for sixth place. The Geneva, Ill., product, has 220 career steals, eight shy of Amy Hile (228 -- 1983-87) in sixth place. Whitley joins Melanie Boeglin (2002-06), Hazel Olden (1990-94) and Shavonda Averette (1987-91) as one of just four Sycamores to rank in the Top 10 in school history in both categories.

Laramie Moves Into The Starting Lineup
Freshman Marina Laramie was inserted into the starting lineup over each of the past seven games and has responded by averaging 10.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. In her 17 games coming off the bench, the newcomer from O'Fallon, Mo., averaged 6.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. Laramie has went into double figures in five of her seven games as a starter, including a career-high 17 points at Illinois State on Jan. 25 and a 10-point, 14-rebound double-double against Creighton on Feb. 8.

Sophomore Jump
After averaging 3.8 points and 2.9 rebounds per game as a freshman, Racheal Mahan has tripled her production in her second season at ISU. Mahan is second on the team by averaging 13.6 points per game, while leading the way at 8.2 rebounds per game. The sophomore from Mansfield, Ohio, ranks in a tie for the MVC lead with eight double-doubles this season.

Better At The Line
Sophomore Racheal Mahan has improved at the free-throw line during MVC action, shooting 50-for-70 (71.4%) from the charity stripe during league games. Mahan finished nonconference play at 50% from the stripe, going 25-for-50 at the line. The sophomore forward is also better shooting free throws inside Hulman Center, going 35-for-51 (68.6%) compared at 40-for-69 (58.0%) on the road.

Sharp Shooter
Junior Anna Munn has knocked down 152 three-pointers in her time at Indiana State, an amount that places the junior guard in eighth place in ISU's career rankings. The Indianapolis native made two treys against Northern Iowa on Jan. 6, passing Krissy Holden (129 -- 1993-97) and Deja Mattox (129 -- 2008-12) in the career rankings. Next up for Munn is April Kirby (166 -- 1998-2002) in seventh place in ISU history.

Down To The Wire
In Indiana State's three seasons under head coach Teri Moren, the Sycamores are 8-10 in games decided by five points or less, including a 4-4 mark this season. ISU's close wins this season are on the road over Saint Louis (48-46), UT Martin (73-71) and Missouri State (71-67) and at home over Bradley (55-54).

Second-Chance Points
Indiana State is averaging 12.8 offensive rebounds per game, leading to a 247-155 (+92) edge in second-chance points this season. The Sycamores have scored more or the same number of second-chance points as their opponents in 19 of their 24 games this season.

Rare Wins
Indiana State has earned road wins at Drake (67-49, Jan. 11) and at Missouri State (71-67, Feb. 1) this season, places that the Sycamores have struggled in the past. The road victory over the Bulldogs was just their fourth in program history and first since 2006-07, while ISU's win in Springfield was their first since 2007-08 and the fifth in school history. ISU picked up a 58-41 home victory over Creighton on Feb. 8, snapping an eight-game losing streaks to the Bluejays.

Close Losses In MVC Play
Of Indiana State's five losses in MVC play this season, three have come on the final possession of the game. In ISU's 54-52 loss to Northern Iowa, UNI's Jen Keitel grabbed a rebound and banked in a hook shot with 1.6 seconds remaining to give the Panthers the victory. Indiana State had possession of the basketball in the closing seconds of both their losses to Evansville (55-54) and Illinois State (66-65), but could not find a go-ahead shot in either contest.

Offensive Rebounds
ISU pulled down a season-high 23 offensive rebounds in their 72-57 victory over Southern Illinois, leading to 20 second-chance points. ISU's 23 offensive rebounds were their most since grabbing 24 offensive rebounds in a 68-48 win over Illinois State on March 5, 2005.

Extending The Streaks
With their wins over Bradley (55-54) and Southern Illinois (72-57) earlier this season, ISU extended lengthy home-court winning streaks over both the Braves and Salukis. ISU holds a 16-game streak over BU, with the Braves' last win in Terre Haute coming on Jan. 26, 1997, while the Sycamores hold a 13-game streak over the Salukis since SIU's win on Dec. 29, 1999.

Two For 20
Sophomore Racheal Mahan (23 points) and senior Taylor Whitley (20 points) each scored over 20 points for Indiana State in the team's 67-49 road victory at Drake, the first time that a pair of Sycamores have posted 20-point games in a span of 46 contests. The last time two Sycamores scored 20 points in a game was when Whitley (21) and Deja Mattox (22) accomplished the feat in ISU's 80-51 victory over Illinois State on March 11, 2011 in the 2011 MVC Tournament. Mahan (22) and junior Anna Munn (27) also went over 20 points each in Indiana State's road victory at Southern Illinois on Feb. 16.

49 Combined
Junior Anna Munn (27 points) and sophomore Racheal Mahan (22 points) combined for 49 points in Indiana State's road victory at Southern Illinois on Feb. 16, the most points from a pair of Sycamores since Kelsey Luna (33 points) and Shannon Thomas (19 points) combined for 52 points in an 80-72 road victory at USC Upstate on Nov. 21, 2009.

Recent Overtime Success
With their 73-71 overtime victory on the road at UT Martin, ISU improved to 2-0 past regulation under third-year head coach Teri Moren. Dating back to the 2004-05 season, the Sycamores are 8-2 in overtime contests, including a 77-72 home win over #17 Vanderbilt on Nov. 12, 2007. Dating back to the 1971-72 season, Indiana State is 21-23 in overtime games.

Nonconference Winners
With their victory over UIC on Friday, Dec, 7, Indiana State secured their fourth straight season of finishing nonconference play at the .500 mark or above. Over the past four seasons, Indiana State has posted a 29-15 record outside of the MVC, including an 8-3 record this season.

On To The Next One...
The Sycamores host their final regular season home games next weekend, entertaining Missouri State (Friday, March 1) and Wichita State (Sunday, March 3).

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