Women’s basketball loses to Bradley

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Online Poster

By Sultan Abdul-Ahad

Illinois came into this game on a high after beating Louisiana Tech, but left Assembly Hall with a bitter pill to swallow after losing to Bradley 70-67.

They had a terrible first half, only shooting 38 percent from the field and missing five three-point attempts. Bradley ended the first half shooting 57 percent from the field and hit five of their 10 three-pointers.

Bradley started the game fast, racing out to an 11-4 lead with five minutes gone in the first half. During that time, the Illini missed six of their first eight shots, while Bradley hit five of their first seven.

There were two bright spots for the Illini women in the first half: Erin Wigley scored 13 points and Tiffanie Guthrie chipped in eight more. Another bright spot was their rebounding. The Illini hit the offensive glass and came down with 11 offensive rebounds in that half, with Audrey Tabon leading the way with four offensive rebounds. It wasn’t enough, however, and they went into halftime down eight points.

“We did not give the effort that was needed tonight,” said Illinois head coach Theresa Grentz.

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The second half started off well for the Illini. With renewed energy and effort, they scored the first four points of the half within the first minute and forced Bradley to call a time out.

The energy level remained the same for the Illini, and they eventually tied the game at 48 on a jumper by Guthrie. The second half was a lot scrappier than the first half with numerous scrambles on the floor for loose balls and many tie-ups in the process.

Illinois continued to dominate the offensive boards, but could not make those second and third chances count. They either missed layups or free throws after getting numerous chances to score.

Bradley called a time out after the Illini tied the game, and stretched its lead to seven points.

Genny Mueller scored five points in that stretch and ended up scoring 21 for the game, including 13 in the second half.

The Illini once again showed heart, coming back from that seven-point deficit to make it a two-point game.

Free throws would end up hurting the Illini, as Guthrie had a chance to tie the game at 68. She would end up splitting to keep the Illini down by one.

They had one more chance to tie the game, but Guthrie and Angelina Williams could not hit three-pointers as time expired.

Grentz could not hide her frustration with the loss.

“This was a different team than the one from Saturday,” she said. We didn’t stay humble after that win.”

Grentz was especially frustrated with her players and their effort.

“I’m disappointed in several people who think more about themselves than the U of I women’s basketball team,” she said.

On the other hand this was the first win for Bradley at a Big Ten team’s arena.

“This is a huge win for our program,” said head coach Paula Buscher.