Illinois Women’s Basketball: Illini Miss Last-Second Shot As Illinois State Wins, 69-68

The Illinois Fighting Illini lost their fifth game of the season after missing a last-second shot against the Illinois State Redbirds.

The Fighting Illini trailed the Redbirds by two points with 37 seconds left after ISU’s Jamie Russel hit two free throws. Karisma Penn had a chance to tie the game from the charity stripe, but missed both of her free throws. Alexis Smith put up a 3-pointer at the buzzer, but it rimmed out to give Illinois State the 69-68 win.

According to, head coach Matt Bollant said “We’ve been talking about defense a lot, trying to get better in practice and i think just a couple of stops in the second half would’ve made the difference for us, but we just weren’t able to get it done” after the loss to Illinois State.

Illinois had four players to score double-digits in Saturday night’s game and were led by Karisma Penn.

Penn finished the game with a double-double with 22 points and 15 rebounds. She also blocked six shots in the game.

As a team, the Fighting Illini went 10-of-29 from beyond the arc. This was their third-most in a game in school history.

Illinois State had big performances out of Janae Smith and Candace Sykes. Smith finished with 13 points and seven rebounds while Sykes finished with a team-high 22 points.

The Fighting Illini are now 6-5 on the season.

Their next game will be at Assembly Hall against the #6 Georgia Bulldogs on December 28th. Georgia is a perfect 12-0 this season. They defeated TCU 72-59 in their last game.

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Tags: Alexis Smith Basketball Illinois Fighting Illini Illinois State Redbirds Karisma Penn

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