The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Illinois women’s basketball struggles on the road in 17-point loss to Michigan State

The Illini traveled to East Lansing, Michigan, to face off against the Spartans for their senior night. Michigan State toppled Illinois in all realms of the game, and Illinois failed to keep up with the attacks coming their way, bringing it to 13-14 on the season and 7-10 in the Big Ten.

No changes were made to the starting lineup this time around. Senior guard Genesis Bryant, senior guard Makira Cook, junior guard Adalia McKenzie, fifth-year center Camille Hobby and senior forward Kendall Bostic began the game at the logo for their second-to-last regular season matchup.

Michigan State started with the ball and got the game going with a jump shot from up top. Illinois turned the ball over on its first possession, and Michigan State got back underneath their rim for additional points. The Spartans began a full-court press early, but the Illini got the ball to Cook for a three-pointer for their first points of the game. The Spartans responded with a three-pointer of their own, and turned another Illini turnover into a layup, taking a 9-3 lead.

After Illinois scored a layup, Michigan State responded with back-to-back threes that urged head coach Shauna Green to call a timeout with five minutes to go in the quarter. Michigan State continued to go on a 13-2 run over Illinois. The first quarter concluded with Michigan State leading 25-13. Michigan State shot 61% from the field compared to Illinois’ 40%, which went 6-15 to start the game. The Spartans were playing confidently while also working great in their transition defense.

The Spartans scored their fourth three-pointer to begin the second quarter, giving them a 15-point lead. Immediately after, another three-pointer fell for them, continuing to show their prowess from behind the arc. After the Spartans reached a 20-point lead early in the second quarter, Green subbed in freshman guard Cori Allen, sophomore guard Kam’Ren Rhodes and sophomore forward Shay Bollin. Bollin sank a three-pointer, but Michigan State was still playing with fire and making elite plays, leading 37-18 with six minutes to go in the quarter.

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In every field in which Michigan State thrived, Illinois struggled. At the half, Michigan State was up by 30 points, totaling 56 points in 20 minutes. The Spartans were shooting 71% from the field and put up seven three-pointers. On the other end of the floor, the Illini shot 10-29 and turned the ball over 12 times in comparison to the Spartan’s five.

The Illini started the second half with all their starters, and Bostic pulled up a midrange shot for her points of the evening. The Spartans turned the ball over three times to start the second half as the Illini continued a 6-0 scoring run to bring the score to 56-32.

While Illinois found a rhythm in the second half, Michigan State did not let up whatsoever. They dominated from behind the three-point line and they thrived in the paint as well. After the third quarter, Michigan State led 74-42 over Illinois. Michigan State had an answer for all of Illinois’ runs, and it was unable to get much momentum going at all.

The fourth quarter was defined by effortless scoring from the Spartans, as the Illini attempted to get any points they could. They cut the lead to 20, but with one minute to go in the game, the Illini knew their fate.

The final score of the game was 87-70. The Spartans finished shooting 59% from the field and played a more cohesive game overall. The Illini head back to Champaign for their final game of the regular season this Sunday against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

 

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About the Contributor
Tess Eken, Assistant Sports Editor
Hi everyone! My name is Tess and I’m currently a junior studying communications with a minor in Spanish. I joined The Daily Illini because I wanted to combine my love for sports with my love for writing, so I get the best of both worlds here! Outside of journalism, I love baking and spending time with my friends and family. If you have any questions or just want to talk sports with me, feel free to email me using the button below. I-L-L!
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