Second-half skid leads to Illini loss
February 20, 2020
The Illinois women’s basketball team lost at Michigan, 80-59, Wednesday.
Coming into the game, the Illini last played the Wolverines on February 17, 2019, in Champaign. Michigan won, 70-56.
The Illini began the game on a strong note, leading, 23-15, during the middle of the opening period. The Wolverines cut the Illini’s lead to four in the closing minutes of the first, and the score 10 minutes in was a 28-24 Illinois lead.
Illinois struggled in the second quarter, taking a six-point lead early but wound up being down by one with 5 seconds to go in the half.
Senior guard Brandi Beasley made a layup in the closing seconds, and Illinois entered halftime with a narrow 42-41 lead.
“I think it was a tough game,” Beasley said. “We had little lapses that I feel like we just need to correct to make sure that we play for 40 minutes, but overall I just feel like we put up a good fight.”
Illinois scored a majority of its first half points from behind the arc. 57% of the team’s first half points and 47% of the team’s overall points were 3-pointers. Three Illini had 2 3-pointers in the first half, freshman guard Jeanae Terry, junior guard Petra Holešínská and Beasley.
Illinois began the second half with its biggest deficit of the evening at that point. Michigan went ahead, 53-44, in the third period’s opening minutes, as Illinois went on a roughly 3.5-minute scoring drought.
The rest of the third did not go well for the Illini, who went on another several-minute scoring drought. The team was outscored,16-6, in the third, with freshman forward Kennedi Myles, senior forward Ali Andrews and Beasley each scoring two points.
Entering the fourth quarter with a 57-48 deficit, Beasley scored a quick layup to cut the Wolverine lead to 7.
However, Michigan continued to dominate the game as Illinois went on a three-minute scoring drought in the middle of the final period.
With 3:16 left in the game, Terry fouled out. Andrews and Michigan’s Hailey Brown got technical fouls on the play, and Brown was escorted out soon after.
Illinois was outscored, 39-17, in the second half, and ended the game on a 2:28 scoring drought. Despite the Illini’s scoring drought, Michigan scored only free throws the last 3:40 of the game.
“We executed really well in the first half,” Andrews said. “I know we’ll get that W soon.”
Illinois next plays at Nebraska Saturday.