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Sycamores Win Season Finale at Bradley

Wrap up regular season 18-11 overall and 9-8 in the Valley.
The Indiana State women's basketball team closed out their regular season on a winning note and claimed the fifth seed in the upcoming Missouri Valley Conference Tournament with a 58-53 victory over the Bradley Braves Saturday afternoon. The victory was the first in the last six games played in Peoria and lifted Indiana State to 18-11 overall and 9-8 in the Valley.

Indiana State will take to the court next Friday when the fifth seeded Sycamores the fourth seeded Northern Iowa Panthers in the second quarterfinal game of the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament at 3:35 p.m. (ET) in The Family Arena at St. Charles, Mo.

Rachael Mahan became the single season leader in offensive rebounds as she hauled in six during the game and 12 overall. Mahan finished the regular season with 98 offensive boards, passing Kristin Stewart (94 in 2001-2001) for the top spot on the ISU single season list. She added 13 points for her ninth double-double of the season.

Anna Munn led the Sycamores with 18 points while Marina Laramie added 12 and just missed a double-double with nine boards.

The Sycamores held a 33-18 lead at the break but that lead quickly evaporated as Bradley scored the first seven points of the second half. Indiana State was able to keep the lead between seven and 10 points until another Braves run whittled that lead down to one, 42-41, with 7:08 remaining. Two free throws from Travecia Franklin and a driving lay-in by Kasey Johnson pushed the Sycamore lead back up to five, 46-41, with 5:02 remaining.

Indiana State maintained the lead but Bradley was never far behind the rest of the way. The Braves did make another run to close within two, 53-51, with 54 seconds left but the Sycamores never relinquished the lead. Munn hit a jumper with 36 seconds left, Natasha Zurek added two free throws 16 seconds later, and Taylor Whitley closed out the scoring on 1-of-2 free throws with four seconds left as Indiana State pulled out the win.

Whitley finished with a team high five steals and five assists while scoring eight points with Zurek adding three points, and Franklin and Johnson had two each.

Katie Yohn led Bradley with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Shondra Butts had 13 points and Michelle Young 11.

Rachael Mahan's put back with 6:36 in the opening half put the Sycamore sophomore into the record book as the top single season offensive rebounder in Indiana State history. She had six rebounds in the first half with nine points and two steals.

The Sycamores got off to a slow start, missing their first five shots from the field but then warmed up helped in part by some tremendous defensive pressure that kept the Braves from getting clean looks at the basket. The game was tied five times in the early going before a pair of Anna Munn free throws put the Sycamores up 15-13 with 8:41 left.

Mahan's record setting offensive rebound and put back pushed the Sycamore lead to eight at 21-13. Bradley worked that advantage back to down to three but Indiana State put the clamps on and did not allow the Braves to score in the final 4:57. The Sycamores, meanwhile, closed out the half on a 10-0 run that put them up 33-18 at the break.

Indiana State finished 20-of-59 from the field (3-of-12 from three point range) and hit 15-of-22 from the charity stripe while grabbing 49 rebounds. Bradley was 20-of-55 from the field (6-of-19 from three point range), 7-of-10 at the free throw line, and 33 rebounds.

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