Smith Breaks Scoring Record in Win over Western Kentucky
March 19, 2010
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - On a night when Jenna Smith became Illinois' all-time leading scorer, it was another senior, Whitney Toone, who had a career night to help the Illini to a 68-51 win at Western Kentucky in the first round of the WNIT Friday night at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Ky. Illinois advances to the second round, where it will host Marquette on Monday, March 22, at 4 p.m. as the first game of a doubleheader at Assembly Hall. Following the women's game, the Illini men will host Kent State at 7 p.m. in the second round of the NIT.
Smith drained her first shot of the game, a three-pointer from the left corner with 14:42 left in the first half, to overtake Ashley Berggren's UI scoring record. Smith hit 8-of-11 shots on the night scored a game-high 21 points to finish with 2,108 career points, 19 ahead of Berggren's total of 2,089 from 1994-98. Smith also had 10 rebounds and four blocks on the night. It was her 19th double-double of the season.
Illinois (17-14) used a 16-2 run late in the first half to turn a 25-25 tie into a 41-27 lead, thanks in large part to Toone, who scored 18 of her career-high 20 points in the first half, including 10 points during the decisive run. Her previous career-high was 13 points. Toone also tied her career-high with seven rebounds on the night.
After leading 41-30 at the half, the Illini never let the Lady Toppers (21-11) get closer than nine the rest of the way. Illinois shot 49.1 percent for the game while holding WKU to just 22.4 from the field. The Lady Toppers leading scorer, Amy McNear, was held to just one point on 0-of-9 shooting.
Illini senior Lacey Simpson had one steal on the night to move into sole possession of the Illinois single-season steals record. She now has 103 to move out of a tie with Allison Curtin's old mark of 102. Simpson also moved into a tie for second on the Big Ten career steals list, as she now as 358 career thefts to tie Ohio State's Kim Wilburn for No. 2 all-time in the conference. Freshman Karisma Penn joined Smith and Toone in double figures with 11 points. Illinois freshman Adrienne GodBold did not dress for the game due to a violation of team rules. She is expected to be back in uniform for Monday's game.
WNIT Second Round Ticket Information
Tickets can be purchased on Monday morning starting at 9 a.m. at the UI Athletic Ticket Office, over the phone by calling 1-866-ILLINI-1, or online now at fightingillini.com.
All orders must be picked up in person at the Assembly Hall Athletic ticket office with a photo ID. The Assembly Hall doors will open at 3 p.m. Parking will be $5 in each of the four Assembly Hall parking quadrants.