LIVE! Indiana at State Farm Center
Final: Indiana 77, Illinois 58
The Illini lost their third in a row and eighth in their last 10 games Sunday afternoon, falling to Indiana 77-58 at State Farm Center.
The Hoosiers trio of starting freshmen guards -- Alexis Gassion, Larryn Brooks and Taylor Agler -- combined for 51 points. Indiana (16-6, 3-6) halted a three-game losing streak.
Junior guard Ivory Crawford led Illinois (9-13, 2-7) with 16 points. She was her team's lone double-figure scorer.
Check back later for a full game story.
6:57 left in second half: Indiana 72, Illinois 47
-- It's getting ugly. Matt Bollant just called a timeout after the Hoosiers pushed their lead to 25 points.
-- Indiana is putting on a clinic with its long-range shooting. The Hoosiers have five three-pointers this half, boosting their game total to 11.
-- Matt Bollant is giving freshman reserve guard Taylor Gleason more time on the court today. She has five points. Wonder if he is ready to redistribute playing time for the rest of the season? If today is an indication of where the rest of the season is headed, Bollant might strongly consider making decisions based on next season.
10:30 left in second half: Indiana 59, Illinois 40
Hero: Larryn Brooks
The Indiana freshman guard has produced game highs of 16 points and eight assists. In other words, she's been directly involved in 32 of her teams points.
Goat: Illini rebounders
Illinois is getting kills on the boards 37-18.
What I'm thinking:
-- What happened to the Illini team that beat Michigan State on the road? Illinois seems capable of a lot better, but it's not showing today. Or lately.
-- Ivory Crawford is a warrior for Illinois today. Has 14 points, three rebounds, shooting nearly 50 percent and, as usual, playing hard.
-- This won't help the the turnout for future Illini games, I wouldn't think.
Halftime: Indiana 43, Illinois 31
Hero: Alexis Gassion
The Indiana freshman guard has been perfect as a shooter, going 4 for 4 from the field and 2 for 2 at the line. Including two three-pointers, she has a game-high 12 points.
Goat: Illini in the area of ... take your pick
Illinois is getting beat just about every way you can. The Illini did play better defense after falling behind by 19.
What I'm thinking:
-- You have to wonder what Illinois' confidence level is like. A loss today would be their eighth in the last 10 games.
-- Indiana sure doesn't look like the team that finished last in the Big Ten standings a year ago at 2-14. Coach Curt Miller has to be encouraged about the future.
-- First-half stat that stands out the most: Second-chance points; Indiana leads 11-2.
7:41 left in first half: Indiana 36, Illinois 23
The Illini fell behind by as many as 19 points, at 34-15, before mounting a bit of a comeback. We'll see if they can cut it to single digits by halftime.
Freshmen guard Larryn Brooks and Alexis Gassion have combined for 22 of the Hoosiers' points.
Illini shooting 52.6 percent but trailing by 13. Indiana's shooting 68.4 percent, so that explains that.
11:42 left in first half: Indiana 28, Illinois 15
Hero: Indiana shooters
The Hoosiers aren't missing much; 11 of 16 (68.8 percent), including 3 of 6 from three-point range.
Goat: Illini defense
The Illini have been beaten off the dribble, have been late on getting out to the perimeter, and have been hurt in transition.
What I'm thinking:
-- Matt Bollant talked Saturday about how the Illini defense had to improve for his team to make a run in the second half of the confernece race. Not much difference so far.
-- Illini should be thankful Amber Moore has hit a couple of threes or this one would be even more lopsided.
-- The Illini's top recruit, McDonald's All-American Chatrice White is here, sitting on the floor seats opposite the Illini bench.
-- Indiana entered No. 1 in the Big Ten in three-point field goals made per game (7.4) and it's apparent why today.
Welcome to our live report from State Farm Center on today’s Big Ten women’s basketball game between the Illini and Indiana.
For both teams, this marks the start of the second half of the Big Ten race. Both teams have work to do. The Illini (9-12) have lost three of their last four games to fall to 2-6 in the Big Ten. The Hoosiers, who once was 14-0 after defeating Iowa in their conference opener, have since lost six of seven games. Indiana also is 2-6 in the Big Ten.
The Illini enter 0-4 in league home games, and Indiana is 0-4 in Big Ten road contests, so something has to give today.
Illinois is coming off an ugly 90-64 loss at Ohio State. It marked the third time the Illini had allowed at least 90 this season. All — no surprise — were losses.
This Illini team’s threshold for points allowed is firmly set at 70. When Illinois holds an opponent to that figure or lower, it is 8-1. Which means the Illini are 1-11 when permitted 71 or more points.
Today, they’ll be facing an Indiana team that attracted a lot of attention for its long season-opening winning streak. One year after finishing last in the Big Ten at 2-14 and going 11-19 overall, the Hoosiers went 15 games before losing. Since then, however, Indiana has won merely once — against Minnesota on Jan. 19 in overtime.
Second-year coach Curt Miller brought in six scholarship freshman this season and has wasted no time seeing what they can do. Two freshman have started every game so far. Another has been in the starting lineup for all but two games. Miller even has gone with an all-freshman starting lineup three times this season.
Larryn Brooks has been the star of this group, and of this Indiana team as a whole. The freshman guard from Kentucky is averaging 16.9 ppg points, which ranks eighth among freshmen nationally and fifth among all Big Ten players. In what has developed as bountiful season of high-impact freshmen in the Big Ten, Brooks certainly is in the discussion for the league’s Freshman of the Year award.
Illini center guard Jacqui Grant fits right in with this sterling group of Big Ten freshmen, too. Grant has averaged 19.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in her last three games. For the season, the 6-foot-3 post is averaging 13.9 points, 6.1 rebounsd and 2.0 blocks.
We’ll update this report periodically during the game so be sure to check back in.