Badgers badger Illini, hand team ninth consecutive loss

Sophomore+Kennedi+Myles+tries+to+head+off+a+push+from+an+opponent+during+the+game+against+Nebraska+on+Jan.+25.+On+Sunday%2C+the+womens+basketball+team+traveled+to+play+Wisconsin+and+lost+69-57.

Sophomore Kennedi Myles tries to head off a push from an opponent during the game against Nebraska on Jan. 25. On Sunday, the women’s basketball team traveled to play Wisconsin and lost 69-57.

By Claire O'Brien, Staff Writer

Illinois (2-10 overall, 0-9 in Big Ten play) lost to Wisconsin (4-11, 1-11), 69-57, Sunday afternoon in Madison. Sophomore guard Jeanae Terry led the Illini with 28 points, a new career high.

Coming into the game, both teams were seeking their first Big Ten win, and Illinois was seeking its first win against Wisconsin in almost two years.

In the opening quarter, Illini junior center Eva Rubin scored the first two points of the game, and Terry scored 10 points in the first 10 minutes. Despite a 2:25 scoring drought to end the first quarter, the Illini maintained a 17-16 lead heading into the second period.

The Illini’s lead was never to last, and they immediately found themselves behind. In the opening minutes of the second quarter, Wisconsin had the momentum and jumped out to a 21-17 lead thanks to a 9-0 run.

Two fouls and a turnover in the final two minutes of the first quarter and another two fouls and a turnover in the first five minutes of the second quarter weighed the Illini down.

“Everybody started off with confidence (and) high energy on the bench and the players on the court,” Terry said. “But I think those turnovers, those key fouls, I think, is what kind of slowed us down.”

Illinois’ offense continued to be slow throughout the second quarter, scoring one point, courtesy of a free throw from sophomore Kennedi Myles, in the first five minutes.

Wisconsin would go on a 15-0 run during the second quarter and take a 36-18 lead, before Terry hit two free throws, her only points of the second quarter, with about a minute left in the first half to end a 6:22 scoring drought.

After 12.5 minutes of play without scoring a field goal, freshman forward Aaliyah Nye made a layup to score the Illini’s only points from the field of the quarter. Ultimately, the team went 1-for-15 from the field in the second 10 minutes, a 6.7% shooting percentage.

Wisconsin outscored Illinois 20-5 in the second 10 minutes, and the team faced a 36-22 deficit heading into the second half.

“I mean, it was a one point ballgame at the (end of the first) quarter. (I) thought we were doing fine,” said head coach Nancy Fahey. “They’re (a) very long, big team. And (they) like, bothered us and we just didn’t really adjust to it well, the second quarter, yet, that was the ballgame right there.”

Wisconsin guard Sydney Hilliard and Terry led their teams in scoring in the first half. Both Hilliard and Terry closed the first 20 minutes with 12 points.

The third quarter didn’t go much better for the Illini. Wisconsin outscored Illinois by five in the third 10 minutes, practically ensuring the win. Hilliard and forward Imani Lewis scored six points each for Wisconsin in the third quarter and combined for 32 of the team’s 57 points at that time. The Illini had three team fouls within the first five minutes of the third quarter and ended the quarter down by 19, 57-38.

The final ten minutes of play marked a departure from the first 30, but Illinois wasn’t able to overcome the double-digit deficit.

Illinois outscored Wisconsin, 8-5, in the first five minutes of the final period in a time that featured Wisconsin’s largest lead of 22, but Wisconsin maintained a comfortable lead 62-46 lead with just under five minutes left.

In the middle of the fourth quarter, both teams struggled from the field, with Illinois going 1-for-11 on field goals, and Wisconsin didn’t make a shot from the field in almost five minutes of play.

With 2:45 left in the game, Terry hit another pair of free throws to set a new career-high of 25 points, ultimately finishing the afternoon with 28 points.

“It felt amazing, but I wanted to do that,” Terry said.

Though the Illini outscored the Badgers 19-13 in the final 10 minutes, it wasn’t enough for the Illini to come from behind.

Despite Terry’s career-high in scoring, Fahey wasn’t thrilled with the outcome.

“Overall disappointed, had a bad second quarter,” Fahey said. “Felt Jeanae Terry had a great game.”

 

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