Late overtime shot sinks Illini women in Mexico, 59-57

By Anthony Zilis

The Illinois women’s basketball team lost to Montana 59-57 in overtime at the Caribbean Challenge in Cancun, Mexico on Wednesday.

Jenna Smith played only 31 minutes out of 45 total, and sat out the final 13 minutes of the first half with two fouls. Lana Rukavina entered the game and scored eight points in the first half, but also committed three fouls, forcing the Illini to go with a four-guard lineup for the final eight minutes of the half.

The game was tied when Montana’s Mandy Morales hit a leaning 15-footer with .7 seconds to seal the victory for the Grizzlies.

Smith finished 7 for 11 with 19 points and 7 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough, as the Illini shot only 34.4 percent as a team and fell to 3-2 on the season.

The Illini continue the Caribbean Challenge with a game against South Dakota State on Thursday and close out the tournament on Friday against No. 10 Maryland.