Balanced Attack Lead Illini to 78-49 Exh. Win Over Cardinal Stritch
Nov. 3, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - In their first and only exhibition game of the season, the Illini women's basketball debuted at State Farm Center with a dominating 78-49 win over Cardinal Stritch. The Orange and Blue created 33 turnovers in the game as eight different Illini recorded a steal. In addition, Illinois had five players finish with double digit points, with two more contributing at least seven points.
"The Buzz looked good and we got to the rim," Illinois head coach Matt Bollant said. "Offensively, we got great shots in the first seven to eight minutes and built up a big lead. I was disappointed from there how we handled that lead and the energy and the effort that we played with defensively. For the start of the second half, we had a few possessions where we talked and were decent defensively, but overall, we need to get better. We have some work to do, but another positive, I really liked the balance we had. We had seven kids score seven. That's a really good balance and hopefully we'll continue to get balance throughout the year."
Taylor Tuck led the balanced attack with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field, followed closely by senior Amber Moore, sophomore Sarah Hartwell and freshman Taylor Gleason, all with 12 points each. Rounding out the double-digit scoring was junior Ivory Crawford, who finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.
Three Illini freshmen shined in their debuts. Gleason's 12 points came on 4-of-5 shooting from the field and 3-of-3 from the free-throw line. Jacqui Grant compiled nine points and a team-high eight rebounds, while Sarah Livingston got in on the action contributing seven points and seven rebounds.
The Orange and Blue jumped on the Wolves early, establishing a 20-2 lead in the first five minutes. Illinois built the lead to 44-21 at half, scoring 17 of those first-half points off turnovers.
The Illini continued to roll in the second half, as they gained their largest lead of the game, 38 points, with eight minutes remaining. Illinois finished with 50 percent (30-of-60) shooting from the field, including 36 points in the paint. The bench also added to the attack, totaling 20 points in the game.
Illinois will kick off its season on Friday, Nov. 8 when they travel to Peoria to take on Bradley at 11 a.m. CT.