By ISU Sports Information
NORMAL, Ill. – The season finale battle commenced in the Renaissance Coliseum today as the ‘Birds fought the Braves for more than bragging rights. Simone Goods led all scorers with 23 points and Illinois State stamped its ticket to the MVC quarterfinals on Friday.
HOW IT HAPPENED
In the first quarter alone, the teams tied three times and had six lead changes. Bradley opened the game with two from Vanessa Markert, but the ‘Birds quickly responded with a layup by Katrina Beck. Viria Livingston found Goods twice with ease, adding four points for the Redbirds. Goods led the team netting six of the 11 points scored in the first.
Bradley came out in the second quarter with a 6-0 run to pull ahead 18-11. Beck found Hannah Green for two and the duo put an end to the Bradley streak. Goods followed and with another basket, to come within three, but the ‘Birds could not overcome the deficit. Illinois State entered halftime, trailing 24-18.
The Redbirds scored the first 15 points in the second half to surge ahead 33-24. The Braves responded with 4:37 on the clock with a layup by Shunseere Kent to trail 33-26. Bradley came within two points, but Megan Talbot closed out the quarter with other plans in mind. Talbot sunk her second 3-pointer of the day with two seconds on the clock to push the Redbirds ahead 38-31.
The Redbirds held the Braves and rallied ahead in the fourth, never giving up the lead. Illinois State claimed a 53-41 victory and secured the sixth seed for the Missouri Valley Tournament.
The Redbirds head to the Quad Cities next week for Hoops in the Heartland as they face the Northern Iowa Panthers on Friday with a tip-off time scheduled for 8:32 p.m.