Lacey Simpson had 7 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals against Indiana Thursday night.
Jan. 7, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Illinois had another last-second shot to win the game Thursday night at Indiana, but unlike Sunday when Karisma Penn beat Wisconsin at the buzzer, tonight Fabiola Josil's three-pointer as time expired rattled in-and-out in a 50-48 loss to the Hoosiers. Jenna Smith led the way with 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocks as the Fighting Illini fell to 10-4 overall and 2-2 in Big Ten play.
Indiana (9-6, 2-2) took the lead on a Jamie Braun lay-up with 2.7 second left. Illinois then called timeout to set-up a play and executed it perfectly. Lacey Simpson inbounded under the Hoosier basket and threw to Smith at midcourt, who turned and found Josil open on the right wing. Josil got a great look from 20 feet as the clock ticked to 0.0, but it wouldn't go down for the Orange and Blue. Prior to Braun's go-ahead bucket, Indiana had not led since the 13-minute mark of the first half.
"We got the shot we were looking for on the last play, unfortunately it didn't go down this time," Illini coach Jolette Law said of Josil's potential game-winner. "It shouldn't have come down to that last play, though. We had opportunities to put the game away earlier and then Indiana just outplayed us down the stretch."
Illinois trailed 12-7 early on, but took control of the game after that, finishing the half on a 20-9 run over the final 13 minutes to lead by six, 27-21 at halftime. The Hoosiers had no answer for Smith in the first half, as she hit 6-of-7 shots for 12 points and six rebounds.
The second half was a different story, however, as Smith was held scoreless and the Hoosiers crashed the boards and found a way to get to the free throw line. The Illinois defense was stout all game, holding IU to 32.7 percent from the field, but the Hoosier got to the line 17 times compared to four for Illinois and held a 19-2 edge in second chance points.
Illinois' biggest lead of the second half was seven, 36-29 with 13:45 remaining, but the Hoosiers battled back to tie the score several times before finally taking the lead in the final three seconds. After a Simpson layup gave the Illini a 48-45 lead with 2:58 left, Illinois would not score again, missing three shots, allowing three offensive rebounds and turning the ball over once in the final three minutes.
Freshman Adrienne Godbold was the only other Illini in double-figures besides Smith, as she finished with 11 points and was 2-of-2 from behind the arc. Sophomore Lydia McCully scored a season-high nine points and dished out five assists, while Simpson chipped in seven points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals despite sitting out nine minutes of the second half with four fouls.
For the game, Illinois shot 36.8 percent from the field and was just 2-of-4 from the free throw line. Indiana outrebounded the Illini 25-12 in the second half and 43-33 for the game. The Hoosiers were led by Jori Davis' 18 points and Braun added 12.
The Fighting Illini now return home to face the Minnesota Golden Gophers this Sunday at 3:30 p.m. The Illinois-Minnesota game will be televised live on the Big Ten Network. It will be "Bring Your `A' Game" day at Assembly Hall. Any report card from the fall with an `A' on it will be good for a free ticket. In addition, the Illini players and Coach Law will be signing autographs after the game.