Illinois women’s basketball suffers defeat to No. 25 Florida State for third straight loss

Guard+Jada+Peebles+dribbles+the+ball+by+3-point+line+during+the+game+against+Florida+State+on+Dec.+2.+The+Illini+lose+to+the+Seminoles+58-67.+

Photo courtesy of Harry Figiel/Illini Athletics

Guard Jada Peebles dribbles the ball by 3-point line during the game against Florida State on Dec. 2. The Illini lose to the Seminoles 58-67.

By Angelle Cortes, Assistant Sports Editor

After a trip to Daytona, the Illinois women’s basketball team was back in State Farm Center Thursday night. Going up against No. 25 Florida State, Illinois fell 67-58, moving its record to 3-4. 

“We really prepared hard this week for Florida State and knew their size,” said head coach Nancy Fahey. “We played with these guys, and we take that next step and win these games and they know that we’re gonna go back to work tomorrow.” 

The first quarter saw the Illini stay even with the Seminoles 15-15 after 10 minutes. Aaliyah Nye started it off with a second chance two-pointer after Kendall Bostic had missed her 3-point attempt. But Florida State replied right away with two points of their own with a layup.  

With four minutes to go in the first quarter, a hard collision happened between De’Myla Brown and Nye after trying to get a rebound after Brown’s own shot. Geovana Lopes was able to grab the ball and get to Brown for the layup and eventual two at the free-throw line with both good. 

The second quarter saw the Illini continue to play gritty on the court, but turnovers and ones gave the Seminoles the chance to grow their lead. With a balanced offense, the Seminoles went into the half outsourcing the Illini, 18-13.   

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After the break, Adalia McKenzie opened up the scoring with two good free throws in a row. Then over the course of about five minutes, the Illini went on a 9-4 run to bring the team tied once again 37-37 with the help of Eva Rubin getting five points. 

Back-and-forth scoring from both teams ended with Florida State leading by five points, 49-44, going into the last 10 minutes of the game. 

Going into the last quarter of the game, despite staying at the heels of the Seminoles in the past three quarters, the Illini just couldn’t stay consistent. 

FSU started off with an 8-0 run, extending the lead to 58-44, though that streak was broken by a 3-pointer by Nye. 

Jada Peebles and Nye scored a combined 29 points, with 10 of them being triples. Florida State knew they were the primary shooters and tried to block all avenues to pass. 

“The size and length of those guys, you can’t really simulate necessarily every time in practice, and I think that put us on a little bit of our heels in the first two quarters even though I thought we were pretty tight,” Fahey said. “Our decisions on the ball weren’t really solid.” 

With the comeback in the works from the Illini, the final push just wasn’t enough as they fell to the Seminoles. 

Despite the loss, the Illini learned and improved from their trip to Florida, especially at the free-throw line. Illinois went 15-20 from the line, with McKenzie nailing seven of her 10 attempts.  

“We just put extra emphasis on it, so we had to put in the extra time,” Fahey said. “We have a list every game of like seven things we have to accomplish to win games, and you know that one really hurt us down in Florida and we corrected it.” 

Coming up next for Illinois will be Sunday’s game against Eastern Kentucky, where the Illini will look to snap their losing streak. 

 

@AngelleCortes

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