CARBONDALE — The Illinois State women left no doubts about their first Missouri Valley Conference road victory Thursday at SIU Arena.
The Redbirds stormed to a 31-point halftime lead and cruised to an 82-44 trouncing of Southern Illinois before a crowd of 1,609.
“This win was a real team effort. We were able to give everyone significant minutes and everyone contributed,” said ISU coach Stephanie Glance. “I was very pleased with our defensive effort the entire game. We were tough on the ball, disrupted passing lanes and turned turnovers into points.”
The Redbirds moved to 13-6 overall and 5-3 in the MVC while recording 19 steals, the seventh most in school history and the most since 1994.
ISU scored the final 15 points of the opening half to take a 46-15 bulge into intermission.
Southern (2-17, 0-8) committed 31 turnovers and shot 31 percent from the field.
Candace Sykes was 3 of 4 from 3-point range and was among three Redbird reserves to reach double figures with 13 points. Coming off the bench for the first time this season, Hannah Spanich had 12 points and a team-high six rebounds. Megan Grace chipped in a career-high 11 points in just six minutes.
Emily Hanley added 11 points and Shala Jackson had 10 along with five steals.
The Redbirds, who play at Evansville on Saturday afternoon, shot 42 percent from the field and connected on 86 percent (19 of 22) at the free throw line.
Renee Reed led the Salukis with 13 points.