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Illinois St. women rally in 4th quarter, win MVC tournament

March 13, 2022 GMT

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Juliunn Redmond scored eight of her 21 points in the fourth quarter when Illinois State rallied to beat Northern Iowa 50-48 for the Missouri Valley Conference tournament title on Sunday.

The fourth-seeded Redbirds (19-13) will make their sixth NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2008

The Redbirds trailed by six after a bucket by Kam Finley with 5:19 remaining but the third-seeded Panthers (22-10) didn’t score again, missing their final four shots and committing three turnovers.

Mary Crompton hit a 3-pointer before Redmond added two free throws to take the lead which Redmond expanded to five after she put back her blocked shot with just under two minutes to go. DeAnna Wilson made 1 of 2 free throws with 7.3 seconds left. Finley’s turnaround jumper was short as time ran out.

Maya Wong added 15 points for Illinois State, which lost its two regular-season meetings to Northern Iowa.

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Rucker, who had six points early in the fourth quarter, finished with 16 to lead the Panthers.

There were four lead changes in the third quarter when the Redbirds erased a five-point halftime deficit but trailed 37-36 after Rucker made a pair of free throws.

The Redbirds scored the first six points of the game and led by one after one quarter. Emerson Green hit a 3-pointer to break a tie early in the second quarter, starting a 9-0 run that UNI rode to a 27-22 halftime lead.

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