Black Friday brings third straight loss for Illini in Cancun

By Anthony Zilis

It was a black Friday for the Illinois women’s basketball team at the Cancun Caribbean Challenge, but not the kind that brings holiday discounts, as the Illini dropped their third game in as many days, falling to No. 10 Maryland 79-52.

The Illini never really stood a chance, falling behind by as many as 27 in the first half. After Maryland’s Lynetta Kizer made two foul shots with 17:42 to go in the second half to make the score 45-25, the Illini never got within 20 again.

Jenna Smith and Lydia McCully were the only Illini to score in double figures, with 21 and 12, respectively. The duo, along with Lacey Simpson, played the entire 40 minutes, but it wasn’t enough to stop a four-game losing streak, which included a pair of two-point losses to Montana and North Dakota State earlier in the week.

The skid comes after the Illini won their first three games of the season. The month of December won’t get any easier, as Illinois faces No. 16 Virginia on Thursday and No. 2 North Carolina later in the month.