Illinois Falls Short at No. 25 Purdue, 76-65
March 3, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Illinois led by three points with 11:48 left in the game but then went nearly six minutes without a field goal as No. 25 Purdue used a 13-0 run to turn the tide and pull away for a 76-65 win at Mackey Arena on Sunday. With the loss, the Illini fall to the No. 6 seed in next week's Big Ten Tournament at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill., and will face 11th-seeded Wisconsin on Thursday in a game set for an approximate 2 p.m. CT tip on Big Ten Network.
"I'm proud of the team for the way we started the second half and the energy and effort we played with for much of the game," Illinois head coach Matt Bollant said. "We got a couple stops and had a chance to go up five, but then we didn't make some very good decisions in transition and against a good basketball team, that was the difference. We talk about playing hard and I thought we did that really well today. We played together but we didn't play real smart and we lacked some poise in that four-minute stretch."
Illini senior Karisma Penn scored 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting and added eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks. The eight boards push her over 1,000 for her career (1,002), making her only the 15th player in Big Ten history to grab 1,000 rebounds. Fellow senior Adrienne Godbold added 18 on 8-of-15 shooting with six boards and four steals. Sophomore Ivory Crawford joined them in double figures with 11.
Illinois shot 44 percent (26-of-59) from the field in the game but was 1-of-15 (6.7 percent) from three-point range, including 0-of-11 in the second half. Purdue shot 51.8 (29-of-56) overall and made 5-of-18 (27.8 percent) three-pointers.
Both teams favored a fast pace in the early going, with Illinois jumping out to an 11-9 lead. But Purdue scored six straight points to go up 15-11. The Illini answered with an 8-0 burst, but the Boilers fought back with a 7-0 spurt of their own to lead 22-19 with 6:39 left in the half.
The Boilers continued that, stringing it out to a 16-4 run that pushed their margin to 31-23. Illinois scored the next six points to pull within a bucket, but April Wilson drained a three-pointer and Courtney Moses made a runner, making the lead seven. Ivory Crawford converted an old-fashioned three-point play with 42 seconds remaining to bring the Illini within 36-32 at halftime.
Adrienne Godbold scored the first four points of the half to tie the game at 36. Purdue got baskets their next two times down the floor, but Illinois matched them with a layup by Alexis Smith and two free throws from Karisma Penn. But the Boilers sandwiched a layup and a three-pointer around a Taylor Tuck miss to pull ahead 45-40.
GodBold nearly lost the handle in the lane but regained it enough to make a short jumper, then Moses missed a trey and Penn drained a 12-footer from the elbow to pull within 45-44. GodBold hit a layup and Crawford made a nice driving stutter-step layup after a missed Purdue trey for a 48-45 lead.
After a pair of free throws by Smith made the Illini margin 50-47, Illinois made consecutive turnovers and missed its next three shots as Purdue strung together an 13-0 run for a 60-50 lead with 7:52 left and Illinois never got closer than eight the rest of the game. The Orange and Blue went cold from the field during the middle of the half, making only 3-of-12 over a nine-minute stretch where Purdue pulled away. The Boilers made 12-of-15 free throws in the game's final 5:03 to keep the Illini at arm's length.