The Illinois Fighting Illini lost their conference opener against the Purdue Boilermakers in overtime, 66-67.
The Illini had some chances to win the game during the overtime period. Sophomore Taylor Tuck missed two free throws that would have put Illinois up by one point.
Then, Illinois came out of a timeout trailing 66-67 with five seconds left in overtime. However, junior Kersten Magrum missed a last second jumper that gave the Boilermakers the victory.
According to fightingillini.com, head coach Matt Bollant said, “Kersten tried to take a charge on the last play and we didn’t get to the weak-side glass. I’m disappointed that we gave up an easy shot late in that possession. Otherwise, I thought we executed well down the stretch. We got a great look going to the basket, it just didn’t fall” regarding the end of the overtime period.
Illinois led 49-41 at the 11:14 mark of the second half, but Purdue used a 13-0 run to take the lead 56-50. The Boilermakers’ leading scorer was KK Houser. She went 7-of-13 from the field and a perfect 4-of-4 from the foul line as she scored 20 points.
Purdue was led on the boards by Sam Ostarello. Ostarello hauled in 12 rebounds and even scored seven points.
Illinois had three players record double-digit point in this game.
Senior Adrienne GodBold recorded her first career double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds while senior Karisma Penn and sophomore Ivory Crawford both had 15 points each. The Illini came so close to getting their third straight win over a ranked opponent, but Magrum missed her only shot of the entire game.
Despite losing, Illinois did some nice things against Purdue. First, they led the Boilermakers in points in the paint. The Illini outscored the Boilers 38-28 in the paint. Second, Illinois made a living by scoring off turnovers. They scored 28 points off turnovers compared to Purdue’s eight.
The Fighting Illini are now 7-6 overall and 0-1 in the Big Ten.
Their next game will be against the Ohio State Buckeyes on January 6th. The Buckeyes are 10-4 overall and 0-1 in the Big Ten. They lost to Iowa, 71-76, in their Big Ten conference opener.
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