Four scorers in double figures lead Illinois to second straight victory


Photo courtesy of Harry Figiel/Illini Athletics

Guard De’Myla Brown attempts a layup during the game against the Miami RedHawks on Nov. 14. After two consecutive wins, the Illini have high hopes against SIUE on Thursday.

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor

After defeating the North Carolina Central Eagles in their season opener, Illinois welcomed the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks to the State Farm Center. The Illini were victorious again, this time by a scoreline of 72-65, as the home team moves to 2-0 early on this season.

Illinois put together a balanced offensive performance, with four different members of the team scoring in double digits. Jayla Oden came off the bench to lead scoring for Illinois with 14 points, as the Baltimore, Maryland native went 4-9 from the field, burying all three of her long ball attempts.

De’Myla Brown put together a solid 12-point-performance, while leading the team in plus-minus with 15. Sara Anastasieska also poured in 12 points and was solid on the defensive end with three steals.

Anastasieska loved her team’s litany of good performances, and she believes the team can get behind that team-oriented idea as the season progresses. 

“For us, it doesn’t really matter who’s scoring,” Anastasieska said. “As long as we win, then the team wins. So I think that’s kind of our concept and our idea for the whole team, whoever scores it is always a team effort.”

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The final double-digit scorer for the Illini was Kendall Bostic, who followed up her strong debut performance with 11 points and six rebounds against Miami.

This meeting between the RedHawks and Illini can be boiled down to being a game of halves. The Illini offense exploded in the second quarter, as the team went 9-13 from the field. Going into the locker room, Illinois led 40-22 and looked to have the game completely under control. 

Illinois struggled offensively in the third quarter, shooting a woeful 3-14 from the field. This allowed Miami to crawl their way back into the game, but Illinois’ 31 points off the bench and 25 points from turnovers carried them to victory.

Head coach Nancy Fahey was pleased with the team’s effort and the ability for the Illini to attack the rim but wished the team had shot the ball better from behind-the-arc throughout the 40 minutes.

“I think it wasn’t really any individual,” Fahey said. “We all contributed. And I think we moved the ball well. I mean we obviously didn’t shoot the three very well. So we went, we just went to the bucket and made shots”

The offensive output has been really impressive at times for Illinois so far this year, as they’ve scored 73 and 72 points in their game. But Fahey would love to see the team eventually reach 80, and she’ll need some more people to step up their shooting if Illinois were to reach that goal.

“Yeah, actually, I want to get to 80,” Fahey said. “I mean to do that, we need to score 20 a quarter. And we were pretty good, except for that third quarter. So that’s our goal.”

Illinois will look to move to 3-0 on Thursday when they welcome the SIU Edwardsville Cougars to Champaign. The game begins at 7 p.m.  and will be available to watch via B1G+.



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