Hoosiers Fall at Illinois, 61-52
Jan. 25, 2009
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Two Hoosiers netted double-digit points, but it wasn't enough as the Indiana women's basketball team fell at Illinois, 61-52, on Sunday, Jan. 25 in Champaign.
Sophomore Jori Davis led the Hoosiers (14-4, 7-2) with 14 points, senior Amber Jackson netted 10 points and senior All-America candidate Whitney Thomas grabbed a team-best 11 boards in the effort. Thomas also recorded four steals, two blocked shots and an assist. Senior Kim Roberson also came away with four steals and junior Jamie Braun tallied five assists.
"We work collectively as a part of the offense and for people to do one-on-one at times in the offense, we'll never accept that kind of thought process," IU head coach Felisha Legette-Jack said. "The shots just didn't fall. In the game of basketball, the ball has to go in the hole and the shots that we took did not fall. We had 12 steals. We took 63 shots and we took shots in our range, but at the end of the day, we didn't score."
The Hoosiers got on the board first as Davis sank a 3-pointer at the 19:27 mark, only to see the Illini (5-16, 1-9) answer with back-to-back layups from Chelsea Gordon and Eboni Mitchell to give the home team a 4-3 lead with 17:19 on the clock. A pair of free throws from Roberson with 13:28 to go in the first stanza sparked a 9-2 Indiana run which capped off by a 3-pointer from Thomas at the 8:40 mark to give the Hoosiers a 12-6 lead. However, the Illini answered and outscored the IU, 14-10, in the final 7:44 of the half to go into the break with Indiana leading, 22-20.
The Hoosiers and Illini battled point-for-point, trading the lead four times in the first six minutes of the second half. A hook shot from Jenna Smith at the 10:12 mark ignited a 12-0 Illinois run that gave U of I a 45-33 lead, its largest of the game, with 6:53 to go. A pair of free throws from Jamie Braun cut Illinois' lead to 10, 45-35, but another Illini run kept them ahead by at least 11. After one of two free throws from Thomas, Braun sank a 3-pointer with 3:05 on the clock. However, Illinois kept answering and were able to hold on by at least eight for the 61-52 win.
Indiana shot just 28.6 percent (18-of-63) from the field, 64-7 percent (11-of-17) from the free throw line and 26.3 percent (5-of-19) from the 3-point line on the night. The Hoosiers matched the Illini in rebounds with 39 each, and grabbed a game-high 20 boards on the offensive glass. Indiana also recorded 12 steals and forced Illinois into committing 21 turnovers.
"We had to press to find a way to try and off-set (Illinois) and we got the steals, we got the opportunities," Legette-Jack added. "I give credit to great shooting from Illinois, because our shots certainly didn't fall."
The Hoosiers return to action on Thursday, Jan. 29 when it hosts Penn State in Assembly Hall at 7 p.m. ET.
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