The Illinois' women's basketball team became a footnote in history Saturday but not in a way it would prefer.
Second-ranked Tennessee whacked No. 21 Illinois 111-62 in the final of the inaugural Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii, the UI's largest defeat since a 112-49 drubbing by Purdue in 1991, the worst loss in school history.
The best team (Purdue) went 8-3. The projected cellar dweller (Northwestern) had the same record. And Joe Paterno finished with a losing record.
Nothing is like its supposed to be in the conference with too many teams for its name.
Penn State's eighth-ranked Nittany Lions shook off strong performances by Illinois' Shadia Haddad and Betsy Spicer on Friday, posting a 15-10, 15-5, 15-7 volleyball victory at Huff Hall.
Illinois led 8-4 in the opening game, but Penn State chipped away behind Mishka Levy (16 kills) and Katie Schumacher (12 kills), sister of Illinois linebacker Jerry Schumacher.
They awoke at 5:30 a.m. and unlike holiday shoppers, their day was done by noon. For Theresa Grentz's Illini, Friday was a short but productive day.
The Illinois women's basketball team, taking the court at 9:30 a.m. local time in the inaugural Maui Invitational, rode an up-and-down wave past outmanned Alcorn State 73-56 to advance to today's tasty matchup against No. 2 Tennessee.
Want to see the state football finals this weekend on television? Sure hope you have cable. Or an antenna that would make NASA envious.
You also might want to have the remote control handy. Finding the games won't be easy.
LAHAINA, Hawaii – They didn't win their first Maui Invitational.
But in the process of coming mighty close, the Illini discovered the gap between themselves and the country's No. 1 team isn't as wide as some people expected. The turkey and stuffing on today's plate are farther apart.
"We took the No. 1 team in the country," UI forward Damir Krupalija said. "We don't have to prove ourselves to anyone."