Turnover trouble hinders women’s basketball team

Turnover trouble hinders womens basketball team

By Dave Fultz

The Illinois women’s basketball team will try to get back on track Tuesday night at Assembly Hall after losing its toughest game of the season Saturday afternoon at Ole Miss.

The Illini (6-2) lost to Ole Miss by 25 points and allowed star guard Armintie Price to notch a triple-double.

She ended Saturday’s game with the most points (34), total rebounds (15), offensive rebounds (7), defensive rebounds (8), and steals (12).

“She is a terrific player,” said head coach Theresa Grentz before practice on Monday. “Just an absolutely terrific player and one of the best I’ve seen,” she added.

The Illini did not help their own cause very much either, as they turned the ball over a total of 34 times.

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The Rebels scored 39 points off turnovers and scored 14 second-chance points off 23 offensive rebounds.

“Saturday’s game just snowballed,” Grentz said.

“Sometimes that happens to good teams. You have to remember how young we are and know that we can learn from that game. It’s a very fixable situation,” she added.

The orange and blue will try to fix their mistakes as they face their second straight SEC opponent, the University of Florida, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Florida comes into Tuesday’s game with an overall record of 4-4 after they finished 21-8 and made an NCAA Tournament appearance last season.

“A chance to come home and avoid a two-game losing streak is a great opportunity,” sophomore guard Lori Bjork said. “We are playing another SEC team that is going to do a lot of the same things that we struggled with against Ole Miss, so it’ll be a good way to see if we can react and improve.”

Bjork and fellow sophomore guard Chelsea Gordon have been the two biggest scoring threats for the Illini of late and will look to continue their success in the season.

Bjork is tied for the conference lead in three-point shooting and Gordon has recorded career-highs in scoring in the last two games, scoring 17 points at St. Louis University and 21 on Saturday at Ole Miss.

“We aren’t doing anything different,” Gordon said. “I am just feeling a little bit more comfortable and my teammates are doing a great job of getting me the ball when I’m open.”

The Illini have been prone to turning over the ball so far this season and the Gators are known as a team that thrives on turnovers.

The focus of Monday afternoon’s practice will center on ball control and working on fundamentals in order to prepare for Tuesday night’s game.

“Thirty-five turnovers are just unacceptable,” Gordon said. “We know that we are better than 35 turnovers a game, that just isn’t something that you can do and still be a great team.”