Freshman Karisma Penn led the Illini against Michigan with 15 points and eight rebounds.
Jan. 28, 2010
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Freshman forward Karisma Penn led Illinois with 15 points and eight rebounds in a 64-48 loss to Michigan on Thursday night at Assembly Hall. The Fighting Illini have dropped five straight games and are now 11-9 on the season and 3-7 in the Big Ten.
Illinois coach Jolette Law shook things up by starting Fabiola Josil, Lydia McCully, Kersten Magrum, Karisma Penn and Lana Rukavina, leaving seniors and usual starters Jenna Smith, Lacey Simpson and Whitney Toone to come off the bench. The Wolverines (12-8, 4-6) took advantage early on, jumping out to a 10-0 lead in the first three minutes.
Smith entered the game midway through the first half with the Illini trailing 22-13 and the Illini would quickly cut the deficit to six after a Macie Blinn three-pointer made it 24-18 with 7:26 to play. Michigan countered with an 11-0 run, however, to go up 35-18 with 3:41 left, their largest lead of the game, and would take a 38-24 lead into halftime.
In the second half, Illinois cut the deficit to 11 at the 15:48 mark, making the score 41-30 in favor of the Wolverines after a jumper by Simpson. The Orange and Blue would get no closer, however, as Michigan went on a 13-2 run to push out to a 54-32 lead with 9:41 to play. UM extended its lead to as many as 24 points in the second half, as the closest the Illini got down the stretch was to within 16.
Michigan sophomore Carmen Reynolds had a big game for the Wolverines, scoring a career-high 21 points with five three-pointers. Illinois started the game 4-for-4 on threes, but were 2-10 behind the arc the rest of the way.
The Wolverines took advantage of Illinois miscues, scoring 19 points off of 18 Illini turnovers. For the game, the Illini shot 35 percent from the field (19-of-54) compared to Michigan shooting 45 percent (22-of-49).
Smith finished the game with seven points and five rebounds, while freshman Adrienne GodBold also scored seven points.
The Fighting Illini will now hit the road for a pair of Big Ten games. First they'll head north to take on Minnesota this Sunday at 4 p.m. and then they'll head to West Lafayette, Ind. next Thursday, Feb. 4 to face Purdue.