Illinois women’s basketball beats Miami RedHawks 72-65, moves to 2-0 in season


Photo courtesy of Harry Figiel/Illini Athletics

Guard Sara Anastasieska attempts to shoot the ball during the game against Miami RedHawks on Nov. 14. The Illini won 72-65.

By Angelle Cortes, Assistant Sports Editor

Despite a poor performance in the third quarter the Illinois held their lead and fought to get the 72-65 win over Miami. 

“It was a hard fought win” said head coach Nancy Fahey. “(We) played a really good first two quarters. I knew Miami wasn’t gonna sit down and rest because they’re really well coached.”

Even though Jayla Oden and Sara Anastasieska lead the team with points at 14 and 12, it was a team effort rather than an individual effort. 

“I think one of the things I really like to see is balanced scoring,” Fahey said. “We have four people in total double figures handle the press better.” 

Both Anastasieska and Oden mentioned that moving the ball around, getting open looks, slowing the ball down and setting up the play was a team effort. 

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The game started off with a technical foul from Miami giving Illinois two free throws and Aaliyah Nye sank one to get the early score. 

From there, the Illini got on the front foot early, taking the lead 8-0 within three minutes of starting. 

After 10 minutes of play, the first quarter ended 18-12 to Illinois. Oden sank a three with 48 seconds left to finish it off. 

In the second quarter, Illinois saw a great offensive production with 22 points scored. It was lay up after lay up for the Illini as Anastasieska notched three of them to add to her tally. 

Along with Anastasieska, Oden performed well for the Illini as she bucketed eight points in the second quarter. 

Come the third quarter, the RedHawks, powered by Peyton Scott, Maddi Cluse and Ivy Wolf put on the comeback and out scored the Illini 22-11. 

“I think we needed to get stops, which we didn’t get at the beginning,” Anastasieska said. 

Defensively, Illinois racked up seven personal fouls, which wasn’t ideal as it gave Miami the chance to sink free throws to cut the lead down to single digits. 

In the last 10 minutes of the game, it was head to head as the RedHawks were fighting for the win, and with 21 points scored from both teams, it made things intense on the court. 

Starting off Geovanna Lopes pushed the lead early as she got back-to-back lay up, jumper and free throw to get five points on the board. 

After that a 6-0 run from Miami ended with De’Myla Brown hitting a three, but immediately in the next play, Wolf hit a three of her own to cut the score to just 59-53 Illinois. 

It was a near back and forth scoring from both teams as the Illini had found their rhythm to keep their lead. 

Fourteen seconds left Jada Peebles the chance to bury the win with two free throws, and she did just that. She ended the night for the Illini as they won 72-65. 

Tuesday saw 25 turnovers for the Illini, but today saw just 15. However, the team wants to see it go even lower. 

“We’re proud of being smarter on the ball,” Oden said. “We just have to know what passes are right, what passes we should make and we obviously need to take our shots. I think everybody took their shots today instead of just doing that extra pass.” 

Going in the next game, the Illini are looking to work on their focus coming out of halftime and offensive rebounds. 

Miami picked up 17 offensive rebounds while Illinois just totaled nine on the court and even defensively they were still beat 30-24. 

Scoring wise it’s another 70+ point game for Fahey, and now she wants to get 80 points. Scoring 20 each quarter wasn’t so difficult for the Illini today besides the outlying third quarter. 

“We were pretty good, except for that third quarter,” Fahey said. “So that’s our goal.” 




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