Women’s basketball advances in WNIT

In the first game of an Illinois basketball doubleheader, the Illini women defeated Marquette 74-72 in overtime.

Illinois commanded the game early and built up an 11-point lead with seven minutes remaining in the opening period.

During that stretch, Illinois gave up the ball just twice against a team that had scored 40 points-off-turnovers in its first-round WNIT game against Eastern Illinois.

But after achieving a 27-16 lead, the Illini had more turnovers (5) than points (4) in the remaining minutes of the first half. Marquette rallied with a 15-4 run that gave the Golden Eagles a 32-31 advantage at the break.

After falling behind by as many as eight points, Illinois again took a lead with 10:15 remaining in regulation. The two teams played even from that point through the end of regulation.

Illinois had the ball and an opportunity to avoid overtime in the game’s final 30 seconds, but Marquette knocked the ball out of bounds with four seconds remaining.

The Illini then turned the ball over with little over one second remaining in regulation. Marquette did not get a shot off before the game moved on to overtime, where Illinois never trailed.

Illinois will now face Missouri State in the Sweet 16 of the WNIT.