Women's hoop skid hits eight
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Poor shooting and poor defense.
Never a good combination for any basketball team.
The Illinois women’s basketball team didn’t fare well in either department Saturday, falling 79-61 against Indiana to run the Illini’s losing streak to eight games.
It’s the program’s worst such skid since the 2010-11 team lost its final 12 Big Ten regular season games.
“We just didn’t get enough stops,” Illinois coach Matt Bollant said. “We’re fairly athletic, but we aren’t very proactive. We really struggle to see what’s happening in front of us, and we’re a step behind a lot. Even though we’re trying to hustle and trying to play with energy, we just don’t see the play a step ahead of time, and that really hurts us. We end up being reactionary and giving up too many good shots.”
Illinois never led against the Hoosiers and trailed by double digits most of the game.
Illinois committed 13 first-half turnovers, which helped Indiana dart to a 20-5 lead in the game’s first seven minutes. Indiana outscored Illinois 27-11 off turnovers.
The Illini could never recover from the slow start, either. A layup by Nia Oden keyed a 7-1 spurt at the beginning of the second half and trimmed Indiana’s lead to 44-33 with 18:16 remaining.
But after a layup by Taylor Gleason near the midway mark of the second half, the Illini missed their next nine shots and went almost six minutes without a field goal.
Indiana had four players hit double figures, paced by point guard Larryn Brooks (20 points, nine assists), and the Hoosiers — who swept the season series against Illinois — shot 57.7 percent from the field. Ivory Crawford led Illinois — which hasn’t won since Jan. 23 at Michigan State — with 11 points, but she only made 3 of 11 from the field.
Oden also finished in double figures with 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds off the bench, while Taylor Tuck and Ashley McConnell each scored nine points, and Amber Moore produced eight points.
“I was really proud of Nia,” Bollant said. “She played with a lot of energy and gave us a lot of life. But we need more than one or two players playing well, and we didn’t have that.”