Women's hoop skid hits eight
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. â€” Poor shooting and poor defense.
Never a good combination for any basketball team.
The Illinois womenâ€™s basketball team didnâ€™t fare well in either department Saturday, falling 79-61 against Indiana to run the Illiniâ€™s losing streak to eight games.
Itâ€™s the programâ€™s worst such skid since the 2010-11 team lost its final 12 Big Ten regular season games.
â€śWe just didnâ€™t get enough stops,â€ť Illinois coach Matt Bollant said. â€śWeâ€™re fairly athletic, but we arenâ€™t very proactive. We really struggle to see whatâ€™s happening in front of us, and weâ€™re a step behind a lot. Even though weâ€™re trying to hustle and trying to play with energy, we just donâ€™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.â€ť
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 gameâ€™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 Indianaâ€™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 Ââ€” who swept the season series against Illinois â€” shot 57.7 percent from the field. Ivory Crawford led Illinois â€” which hasnâ€™t won since Jan. 23 at Michigan State â€” 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.
â€śI was really proud of Nia,â€ť Bollant said. â€śShe 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 didnâ€™t have that.â€ť