Plane trees begin their weekend road trip in the state of Illinois

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. Indiana State returns to the streets for the next two games, beginning Friday night with a 7:30 tap at Illinois State at CEFCU Arena. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and 105.5 The Legend.

last time out
Anna McKendree scored Indiana State’s first double-double with points-assists since 2006, but visiting Drake’s powerful offense carried the Bulldogs past the Sycamores, 86-65, at the Hulman Center.

McKendree finished the tournament with 14 points and 10 assists, becoming the first Sycamore since ISU Hall of Famer Melanie Boeglin to record a double-double with points and assists. She also led the trees with six rebounds and four steals. Del’Janae Williams led the Sycamores with 17 goals, their third straight game in double digits Chelsea Cain added 15.

Drake went out to a huge lead in the first quarter and never looked back. The Bulldogs shot 70 percent in the opening quarter and took a 32-10 lead after 10 minutes. Indiana State never gave up, however, beating the visitors by one in the final 30 minutes. The Sycamores cut the deficit to 16 early in the fourth, but a 9-2 run from Drake ended hopes of a Sycamore comeback.

milestone moment
Chelsea Cain finished the game with 18 points in Evansville, earning 1,000 points for her collegiate career in the process with a first-quarter layup.

Cain has 857 points in three seasons at Nicholls State and has 159 points for the Sycamores this year, giving her 1,016 career points. Cain has a chance to increase that total significantly as she has the rest of this season and all of next season to increase that total.

milestone clock

Two members of Indiana State’s women’s basketball program are nearing their career milestones.

Del’Janae Williams is also approaching 1,000 career points as she is currently 106 points away from reaching the milestone with at least 15 games left on the schedule. Williams would be the 29th player in program history to reach the mark and would be the first Sycamore to accomplish the feat at Indiana State since Racheal Mahan in the 2014-15 season.

head coach Chad Killinger is also close to a career milestone on the sidelines, as the Sycamore leader needs just three wins to reach 300 for his head coaching career.

Jump back

Indiana State’s start to Saturday’s game against Drake wasn’t what the Sycamores were hoping for, it was the Sycamores

After beating Indiana State 32-10 in the opening quarter, he beat Drake 55-54 in the final 30 minutes. The Trees reduced the deficit from 28 points early in the fourth quarter to 16 before a Drake scoring run ended comeback hopes.

Warm up

Indiana State Guard Del’Janae Williams has continued to improve her game for the blue and whites, scoring in double digits in each of the last three games.

Williams, who leads the Sycamores with 13.3 points per game this season, has averaged 19.0 points per game in his last three games. That includes a season best of 25 points in a comeback win in Valparaiso.

drop pennies

Despite the goal line in Indiana State’s last game against Drake, Sycamore watches Anna McKendree had one more game I could remember playing. McKendree led Indiana State with 10 assists, six rebounds and four steals while also averaging 14 points.

It was the first double-double of her Indiana state career and the first double-double with points assist from a Sycamore since Melanie Boeglin of the ISU Hall of Fame performed the feat on March 4, 2006.

Again on the street

The state of Indiana is in a similar place, back on the road. The Sycamores opened 2023 with three straight games and are in the middle of a six-game streak with five away games. So far, the Trees are 2-1 on this stretch of road, with victories over UIC and Valparaiso and a loss to Evansville.

Indiana State’s only home game during this stretch was the final game against Drake. The Sycamores start with a three-game homestand after this weekend’s away games.

State of Illinois at a glance

Illinois State, the MVC tournament champion, heads into the weekend 11-5 overall and 5-1 in conference play at the top of the MVC standings. The Redbirds have won each of their last four games.

Drury transfer Paige Robinson, a two-time Division II All-American and 2020-21 Division II National Player of the Year, leads the Redbirds with 19.0 points per game. Mary Crompton (11.4) and DeAnna Wilson (10.4) are also averaging double-digit points for Illinois State, while Wilson leads the team with 7.6 rebounds per contest. Robinson, Crompton, and Maya Wong all shoot better than 40 percent from 3-point range.

Kristen Gillespie is in her sixth season as Illinois State head coach and has led the Redbirds into the postseason for each of the past two years.

Serial story against the state of Illinois

Illinois State has a 57-45 all-time series advantage and has won each of the past seven meetings. Indiana State’s last win of the series was in 2019, and the Sycamores’ last win of Normal was in 2017.

Final game vs. Illinois State (February 6, 2022)

Indiana State shot nearly 50 percent from the field in the second half, but a slow start proved costly for the Sycamores in a 72-64 loss to Illinois State at Redbird Arena.

Natalia Lalic led the Sycamores with 18 points, including 16 in the second half. Del’Janae Williams added 14 points and six assists while Marie Jaeger scored 10 Mya Glanton had a team-high seven rebounds in return.

Indiana State was trailing by a full 17 midway through the second quarter after a slow start to the game. The Sycamores couldn’t find their rhythm in the early stages and shot under 40 percent in each of the first two quarters. The Sycamores ramped up in intensity in the second half, forcing 12 turnovers in the final 20 minutes and cutting it down to a late game with two possessions, but didn’t have time to complete the comeback.


Indiana State’s five-game away stretch in a six-game span ends with a Sunday afternoon tilt at Bradley, with the tip scheduled for 3 p.m