Women overmatched against Gophers

Tim Eggerding

Tim Eggerding

By Sultan Abdul-Ahad

The Illini were simply outplayed in every way possible as they lost to Minnesota 80-68 in Minneapolis.

The final score was not a clear indicator of how the Illini were outplayed.

The Illini found themselves down by as many as 32 points in the second half. They ended the game with a 19-0 run making the final score look respectable.

In the first half, the Illini got off to a good start against the eighth-ranked Gophers. They were able to grab a 12-11 lead with 14 minutes remaining in the first half. After that, the Gophers took their game to the next level and the Illini couldn’t keep up.

The Gophers were led in the first half by Kelly Roysland, who came off the bench to score 14 points in the half while making all six of her shot attempts. She was complemented by Janel McCarville who scored 12 points in the first half while only missing one of her six shot attempts.

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Minnesota shot 50 percent in the first half compared to the Illini’s 31 percent and led 43-24 at halftime.

One bright spot for the Illini in an otherwise dismal first half was the offensive production of Tiffanie Guthrie. She scored 12 of the Illini’s 24 first half points.

In the second half, the play from the Illini didn’t get any better as the Gophers continued to play their game and keep the Illini out of theirs. The Gophers were able to build up a 70-40 lead in the second half and play the reserves for the last few minutes of the game.

By this time, the Illini started to go on their 19-0 run to end the game.

“Overall we were disappointed with our lack of consistency, we started and ended the game with great energy, but in the Big Ten you have to play like that for the full 40 minutes,” said assistant coach Marsha Frese.

The Illini were once again led in scoring by the familiar duo of Angelina Williams and Guthrie. Williams scored 18 of her 24 points in the second half. Guthrie ended up scoring a game high 28 points.

“Everyone on this team is aware of their roles and it’s just a matter of them stepping up,” Frese said.

Minnesota ended up shooting 55 percent in the game and had 4 players score in double figures, led by Roysland’s 19 points.

“You’ve gotta pick your poison with a team like Minnesota. We knew that Janel McCarville was going to get her points and Roysland did a great job of hitting the shots we gave her,” Frese said.