March 3 UI women's basketball, volleyball, baseball and recruiting chat

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 - 2:00pm

The Illinois women's basketball team has locked up a first-round bye and will play Nebraska on Thursday in the Big Ten tournament. So now what? Beat writer Scott Richey is more than ready to field any Illini or Big Ten questions you have. He won't mind volleyball, baseball or recruiting queries either. Put him to work.

Illinois 86, Northwestern 60

Marcus Jackson gives a day-after recap of Illinois' dominating win against the Wildcats from Saturday night.

WBB notebook: Wolverines' top producers silenced

CHAMPAIGN — Cyesha Goree ran roughshod over Illinois in her last trip to State Farm Center, racking up a 30-point, 19-rebound performance against the Illini last season. 

Aggressiveness, 'Buzz' defense lifts UI women

CHAMPAIGN — Matt Bollant’s decision to start his four healthy seniors in their final game at State Farm Center on Saturday necessitated a slight shift in game plan, too.

GCMS/Fisher wrestlers take fourth at team-dual state

BLOOMINGTON — The final minute of the meet’s final bout determined whether Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley/Fisher’s wrestling team was competing in its final match of the season.

Junior Key-Shawn Girkin was in the featured bout for the Falcons. “I knew if I didn’t get the win, we were done,” Girkin said. “That couldn’t happen. I wanted to give these (four) seniors another chance.”

Central's Woods earns fifth place in state event

WINNETKA — Payton Woods was cognizant of the strong tradition the Central boys’ swimming and diving team had built.

Well before he ever stepped into a pool to swim for the Maroons.

“I’ve grown up around Central, and I knew a lot about the program before coming to Central,” Woods said. “It means a lot to me to be representing them at state.”

UI roundup: Baseball stunned late for first loss

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Ball State tallied a pair of runs in the eighth inning to upend Illinois baseball 2-1 on Saturday, marking the Illini’s first defeat of the young season.

Matthew James launched his first career home run to account for Illinois’ only run, while Drasen Johnson pitched seven four-hit innings, adding six strikeouts for the Illini (7-1-1).


Best of Fred: No. 23 — Happily avoiding conflict

In honor of my son’s upcoming birthday — how is it possible he will be 32 on Monday? — some reflections on how sports and family occasionally became intertwined.

I was never a parent who forced his child to do a sport, although I wanted Devin to experience a sport firsthand before he made his own decision to continue it or not.

Tate: Rice starting, threes falling and UI problems disappear

CHAMPAIGN — On those special occasions when the three-pointers are falling, it almost seems too easy.

That’s because the points multiply so rapidly. Northwestern drained 39 of 90 treys during a recent four-game win streak, which accounted for 117 points and computes to 65 percent shooting when the extra point is added in.

Iroquois West girls earn fourth place at state

NORMAL — Iroquois West’s girls’ basketball program will win more games in the future, but it will never achieve a first like it did this weekend.

Seniors Taylor Cultra and Elena Sanchez left their mark at a school that won 89 games after they entered the building, helping Iroquois West secure its first team trophy in any girls’ sport.