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Given to Fly

January 25, 2009

Given to Fly: Schilli’s Rodman-like performance aids ISU

TERRE HAUTE — With Indiana State’s women’s basketball team ranking eighth in the Missouri Valley Conference in field-goal percentage (36.5), the Sycamores need as many shot attempts as possible to maintain their standing on top of the league.

Heading into this past weekend’s two-game homestand, coach Jim Wiedie was focused on motivating more production from his post players. He made this clear to his players during a 3-hour, 15 minute practice early in the week.

Wiedie told senior Kara Schilli that her recent rebounding statistics weren’t cutting it. Prior to the Southern Illinois victory on Thursday, Wiedie found that Schilli had only four offensive rebounds in the past seven games.

After apparently studying Dennis Rodman highlights during her spare time, Schilli crashed the glass for nine offensive rebounds in ISU’s sweep of Southern Illinois and Evansville. She had six offensive boards in Saturday’s game alone.

“For a kid that athletic and talented and who’s known for her rebounding, we need more than four offensive rebounds [in a seven-game spa],” Wiedie said. “Kara has taken it upon herself to get back to flying all over the place, bringing that energy and coming up with big, big boards. When she does that and you’ve got Bianca [Jarrett] playing at a high energy level, the rest of those kids just feed off of that.”

The Sycamores converted on just two of Schilli’s offensive boards, with Schilli setting up Jarrett for a layup on one of those. Schilli’s playmaking ability should also be noted as a big spark. Schilli’s 44 assists this season are barely behind Kelsey Luna’s 49 for team-high honors. Luna and Schilli each have 16 in conference play.

“Her intensity level and her effort and her commitment to this team, especially to the rebounding aspect of the game is just incredible,” Luna said of Schilli after Saturday’s victory. “It’s great to have her on our team. She’s the spark plug. She’s the one we look to emulate and copy everything she does because she’s just putting her heart on the floor every single time we step on the floor. That’s her role, and we admire her for that.”

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