Bloomington, Ind. Indiana struggled with Illinois pressure defense, and eventually suffered a 64-52 defeat at Assembly Hall Sunday.
The Hoosiers fell to 10-12 overall and 3-8 in the Big Ten, while Illinois improved to 10-12 overall and 4-7 in conference.
A crowd of 4,044 turned out for Sundays contest, marking the fifth-largest crowd in school history. When the Hoosiers hosted Purdue earlier this year, a crowd of 7,110 was on hand for the second-largest home crowd for an Indiana womens game.
Jenny DeMuth paced the Hoosier offensively, scoring 17 points and playing all 40 minutes of the game. She was joined in double figures by Cyndi Valentin with 15 points and Sarah McKay with 10. Angela Hawkins finished with eight points and a game-high 15 rebounds.
With Indiana leading, 36-30 five minutes into the second half, the Illini put together a 13-2 run to claim a 43-38 advantage. From that point, the two teams went toe-to-toe until Illinois slapped its 2-2-1 full-court pressure defense on Indiana midway through the second half. The Hoosiers committed a pair of costly turnovers that led to a pair of Illinois buckets, opening the Illini advantage to 48-42 and creating some breathing room for the visitors for the first time.
The Hoosiers continued to squander possessions with turnovers and fell behind 52-44 with 7:22 remaining after an uncontested Angelina Williams layup. Indiana could not carve into the lead from that point.
Angela Hawkins turned in a nice effort for Indiana, scoring nine points and grabbing a season-high 15 rebounds.
The first half was evenly played, with Indiana leading for the majority of the way, but Tiffany Guthrie heaved a 40-foot shot at the buzzer that went in to send the two teams into the half tied at 28.
Cyndi Valentin had 11 points to lead Indiana in the first half, while Guthries 11 paced the Illini going into the locker room.
Entering Sundays contest, the previous five meetings between Indiana and Illinois were all decided by seven points or less, including a 63-56 Indiana win in Champaign earlier this year.
Indiana returns to action at 8 p.m. (EST) Thursday when it battles Northwestern at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston. The game will be broadcast live over the Indiana Womens Basketball Radio Network with Jeremy Gray calling all the action.