Illini can't turn the Page en route to 18th straight defeat

Illini can't turn the Page en route to 18th straight defeat

INDIANAPOLIS — If only Matt Bollant had been able to talk Teniya Page into playing college basketball in Champaign-Urbana. He tried to land the former Marian Catholic star. But she picked Pen State instead.

On Wednesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Page showed Illinois what it missed, scoring a game-high 38 points in an 83-57 win as the 11th-seeded Nittany Lions (16-14) steadily pulled away from the 14th-seeded Illini (9-22) in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.

Page made 14 of 24 shots from the field and 4 of 8 three-pointers. She added four rebounds, four assists and two steals to keep Penn State's season alive. The Nittany Lions face No. 6 Indiana at 8 p.m. today.

"I don't know what it is, but I know my teammates have a lot of confidence in me, so that's kind of the reason why I keep shooting," Page said. "They motivated me throughout the game, before the game and after the game."

Illinois lost its final 18 games after a 9-4 start.

The program finished winless in the Big Ten for the first time in program history.

First-year coach Nancy Fahey sounds like she is ready to get back to work.

"I think it's something that we're going to be motivated by," Fahey said. "I think that in our postgame meeting, that's something we were talking about. We're motivated. We're not going to let this happen again."

Alex Wittinger and Brandi Beasley each scored 21 points for the Illini. Wittinger, who had a triple-double earlier in the season at Penn State, added 11 rebounds and three blocked shots.

"(Beasley and Wittinger) came out and played hard, and they put a lot of points on the board," Fahey said. "So that was a good sign. We let someone take off on us on the other side."

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JamBam wrote on March 01, 2018 at 12:03 am

Revoke all their scholarships and recruit a new team.  This is unprecedented levels of failure.  Josh Whitman's B1G record this season in the major sports (mbball, wbball, football) was 4-41.    Same guy on his first day saying "We Will Win"?  Excuse me.  Next time, win first and then talk.  Doubt there'll be a next time.  This is Whitman's only shot at an AD job.  Nobody else is hiring him after these records.


wayward wrote on March 01, 2018 at 12:03 am

If Illinois developed a reputation for "Creaning," it wouldn't help their recruiting situation and might get them in trouble with the NCAA. I think the coaches just have to do the best they can with the roster they inherit.

Green Shirt wrote on March 01, 2018 at 7:03 am

"Major" sports?  What is a "Major" sport.  The men's basketball, women's basketball and football are three of the four "head count" sports (look it up) with the one missed being women's volleyball, a sport in which the Illini had a pretty good year (Sweet Sixteen).