TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Despite a 16-point performance from Anna Munn, the Indiana State women's basketball team could not overcome a late 12-2 run by Illinois State as the Redbirds earned a 63-54 victory in front of 2,381 fans inside Hulman Center.
The Sycamores saw their four-game winning streak snapped and fell to 16-9, 8-6 MVC while the Redbirds won for the fifth time in a row to improve to 18-8, 10-4 MVC.
Munn scored 16 points to lead the Sycamores, including a trio of first half 3-pointers to go with five rebounds and four assists. Taylor Whitley scored 13 points with three assists and two steals while Racheal Mahan battled foul trouble the entire contest, including playing most of the second half with four fouls, to score 12 points with two blocks and two steals as well as seven rebounds.
The Sycamores held Illinois State to just 19-of-48 shooting from the field (39.6 percent), including a mark of 2-of-16 from 3-point range (12.5 percent). Indiana State hit 19-of-54 field goals (35.2 percent), including four 3-pointers. Illinois State scored the majority of their points at the free throw line as they converted 23-of-25 attempts (92 percent) and held a 37-33 edge in rebounding.
Indiana State's defense forced 16 Redbird turnoves and recorded nine steals, converting them in 19 points. The Redbirds got 17 points off the bench, while no non-starters scored for the Sycamores.
The Redbirds took an early 5-2 lead, but ISU battled back with a pair of Marina Laramie free throws as well as another from Munn to knot the game at 5 with 16:09 left in the first half. Laramie scored again inside just over a minute later to take their first lead of the game at 7-6.
ISU went on a 6-0 run, capped by with a trey by Munn with 11:39 left before the break to give the Sycamores a 13-8 lead. Illinois State responded with a 6-0 run of their own for a 14-13 lead, but Trevecia Franklin hit a runner in the paint at the 10:13 mark to make it 15-14.
Munn answered another Redbird basket with a 3-pointer at the 8:11 mark for an 18-16 cushion but Illinois State scored seven in a row to take a 26-20 advantage with 4:05 left. Munn hit a jumper with 3:43 on the clock to trim it down to a four pont game and then added a pair of free throws 30 seconds later to make it 26-24.
Franklin scored the final points for the Sycamores with 2:01 left before the break as the Redbirds took a 30-26 lead into the half.
Alexis Foley staked the Redbirds to a 33-26 lead as she hit a 3-pointer at the 19:18 mark of the second half, but Mahan countered with a lay-up off the feed from Laramie on the Sycamores' next possession to make it a five-point game.
Munn hit her third 3-pointer of the game at the 16:55 mark to make it 37-33 in favor of the Redbirds. Illinois State would take a 41-33 lead with 13:43 on the clock, but Whitley converted a lay-up with 12:02 remaining to kick start of an 8-0 run to tie the game at 41 with 10:04 remaining. Whitley capped the run with a pair of free throws.
Illinois State would score the next four points, but Mahan cut the lead down to just 45-43 at the 8:17 mark with a lay-up. The Redbirds scored four in a row, until Mahan scored again inside with 4:25 to make it 49-45. The Redbirds then completed their decisive 12-2 run with a pair of free throws from Foley at the 2:02 mark for a 57-45 advantage.
Whitley hit a 3-pointer with five seconds left and Illinois State ran out the clock from there for the 63-54 victory.
Brianna Puni led Illinois State with 17 points while Foley had 13 and Candace Sykes added 12.
Indiana State continues its three-game home stand on Friday, March 1 when they welcome the Lady Bears of Missouri State to Hulman Center. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m. (ET).