Taylor Tuck paved the way tonight with her 20 points on 8-14 shooting from the field.
Nov. 6, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illini had seven players in double figures and forced 53 turnovers in a 120-29 victory over Concordia University (Illinois) in the second and final exhibition game of the the year. Illinois officially opens the Matt Bollant era on Sunday afternoon with a 2 p.m. game against Evansville.
In the two exhibition games, Illinois forced 93 turnovers, which included 23 in the first 12 minutes of the game as the Illini held Concordia to just four field-goal attempts in that stretch while building a 41-4 lead. Illinois has out-scored its two opponents by a combined 209-66.
Sophomore Taylor Tuck led Illinois in scoring with 20 points, which included three 3-pointers. As a team, Illinois improved its shooting to 51.7 percent from the field, which included 60 points in the paint and 73 points off turnovers. The Illini also made 11 3-pointers, paced by four from redshirt junior Amber Moore, who tallied 16 points overall. Illinois improved in its free throw shooting, finishing the night 17 of 24 from the line (70.8 percent).
Despite playing at a fast pace, the Illini committed just 16 turnovers on the night and 31 turnovers combined in the two exhibition games. Sophomore point guard Alexis Smith had 17 points on 8 of 10 shooting while adding eight assists and five steals and committing just three turnovers.
Kersten Magrum finished with 16 points, making 6 of 7 of her field goals and 4 of 5 free throws. Senior Karisma Penn had 14 points and eight rebounds in just 22 minutes of action. Sophomore Ivory Crawford and freshman McKenzie Piper each scored 13 points apiece.
Illinois led 65-13 at halftime and outscored the Cougars 55-16 in the second half. Jessica Genke paced Concordia with 11 points.
"I was really impressed with how hard we played all the way to the end," Illinois head coach Matt Bollant said. "That's sometimes not easy to do in these kind of games. I think once again we showed how athletic we can be."
In terms of what his team will work in the coming days leading up to the season opener, Bollant said. "We're really working on talking more on defense. I didn't think we did a great job of that tonight. The players have done everything we have asked of them so far.That is something we're asking them to focus on to help us get better."