NORMAL — Short-handed and undersized, Evansville has been the worst rebounding women's basketball team in the Missouri Valley Conference this season.
Illinois State pounced on that weakness with an unbridled ferocity Sunday at Redbird Arena.
The Redbirds set a school record with 28 offensive rebounds and pummeled the Purple Aces, 70-44, before a Play4Kay game crowd of 1,109.
"We knew that was an area we could expose. They were giving up quite a few," ISU coach Kristen Gillespie said. "Our goal was 20. To get 28 is great."
With their fifth win in six games, the Redbirds evened their record at 13-13 and moved past Bradley (6-9) into sixth place in the MVC at 7-8.
Junior Viria Livingston, an unlikely rebounding force at 5-foot-8, tied the Redbird Arena record of nine offensive rebounds and snared a career-high 13 total boards.
"Viria continues to amaze me," said Gillespie.
ISU's total of 58 rebounds is the fourth highest in school history. Evansville secured just 20 rebounds, with just one coming off the offensive glass.
The Purple Aces (3-22, 0-14) are suffering through a nightmare season of injuries. Coach Matt Ruffing had just eight players in uniform Sunday, including three walk-ons. Just two of his players have avoided missing time with an injury.
"I like what Coach (Gillespie) is doing here. There is a different vibe in the arena," Ruffing said. "They are a completely different team, and defensively the numbers speak for themselves."
ISU senior Hannah Green, playing her final home game, finished with 14 points and seven rebounds.
"This means a lot to me, especially because it's not over," said Green.
Redbird junior Simone Goods was dominant off the bench for the second straight game.
Goods entered the contest at the 6:17 mark of the first quarter with the score tied at 2-2. She scored seven points the rest of the period as ISU surged to a 17-7 lead.
The Redbirds assumed a 22-7 advantage on a Green 3-pointer and settled for a 33-20 cushion entering halftime.
Goods scored 24 points (11 of 16 shooting) and grabbed nine rebounds in 24 minutes.
"I'm not taking anything for granted," said the 6-2 Goods. "I'm putting more thought into the game."
ISU closed the third quarter on a 15-4 run for a 58-34 advantage. Goods and point guard Paige Saylor were given the fourth quarter off.
"Our approach this weekend was phenomenal," Gillespie said. "It was a great way to finish our home season. It was such a great team effort and team win."
Redbird sophomore Frannie Corrigan contributed to ISU's 42-6 edge in bench points with a career-high 11 to go with seven rebounds.
"Coach always talks about being ready," said Corrigan. "I try to focus on giving effort and energy every day."
"Frannie is all about the team," Gillespie said. "Every single day she gives her best. For her to have a day like that makes me so happy."
Evansville was paced by the 21 points and six rebounds of Kerri Gasper.