Women’s basketball upsets top-seeded Buckeyes in Big Ten Tournament

By Stuart Lieberman

Fifth-year senior Audrey Tabon cried on senior Stephanie Chelleen’s shoulders on the bench Friday night, as No. 9 Illinois upset top-seeded Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals, 64-58. The win also marked the first time in Big Ten Tournament history that a No. 9 seed beat a No. 1 seed. They had previously been 0-5.

“No. 9 means nothing to us,” guard Rebecca Harris said. “It’s just a number. We know that we can beat any of these teams any day because we’ve seen them already.”

Although sophomore center Jenna Smith put up 13 points and grabbed six rebounds while being guarded by Big Ten Player of the Year Jantel Lavender, her teammates stepped up to help her out.

Harris, a senior, led the team with 22 points to avoid what might have been her last game as an Illini. Harris’ quickness at the guard spot and junior guard Lori Bjork’s three-pointers got the job done.

Illinois will face Michigan State game on Saturday night at 7:30 (CT).

“We played all 40, so we get another 40,” head coach Jolette Law said.