The Illinois Fighting Illini picked up their third conference win on Thursday against Nebraska, 62-52.
It was a great night defensively for the Illini as they forced the Cornhuskers into a season-high 26 turnovers. Illinois was able to record 16 steals as a team in the game. They were led defensively by senior Adrienne GodBold and sophomore Taylor Tuck. Both GodBold and Tuck recorded a team-high four steals apiece.
After the game, head coach Matt Bollant said, “Obviously, we’re a different team with Adrienne back. And I thought we did enough defensively to win. I thought our ‘buzz’ defense changed the game in the first half” (Source: fightingillini.com).
Illinois had three players finish with double-digits. Godbold led the team in scoring with 19 points. She went 7-of-14 from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc in 25 minutes.
The second leading scorer on the team was sophomore Ivory Crawford who scored 15 total points and went a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe.
Senior Karisma Penn had a bounce back game on Thursday night by scoring 12 points.
Penn was also a monster on the boards. She pulled down a team-high 18 total rebounds and a career-high 10 offensive rebounds in route to her ninth double-double of the season.
Bollant commented that Penn “got every rebound down the stretch; when we had to have some rebounds, she went and got them” (Source: fightingillini.com).
As a team, Illinois got to the foul line quite a bit against the Cornhuskers. They went 14-of-15 from the foul line and the only player to miss a free throw was Karisma Penn.
Nebraska only had one player reach double-digit points in the game. Junior Jordan Hooper took a total of 22 shots for the Cornhuskers and only made six of them. However, she finished the game with 17 points.
The Fighting Illini are now 10-7 overall and 3-2 in the Big Ten. All three of the Illini’s conference win have come while on the road.
Their next game will be against the Northwestern Wildcats on January 20th. The Wildcats are 8-9 overall and 0-4 in the Big Ten. The Illini have already beaten the Wildcats once this season, 65-47.
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