Illini Break Records in 112-28 rout of Alcorn State
Nov. 17, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois broke the school record for the largest margin of victory and scored the second-most points in a game in school history in a 112-28 rout of Alcorn State, the third-lowest point total ever by an Illini opponent, in front of 2,909 fans at State Farm Center Sunday. Seven Illini players reached double figures, led by Amber Moore's game-high 25 points, including 5-of-12 three-pointers.
Sarah Hartwell had 16 and Sarah Livingston posted her first career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, while adding five blocks and three steals in 26 minutes. Ivory Crawford chipped in 12, while Jacqui Grant, Taylor Tuck and Taylor Gleason each put in 11 on the day. Grant had six rebounds and six steals in 18 minutes, Hartwell had five assists, Gleason had six steals and Nia Oden collected five steals.
The 112 points gives Illinois 384 points (96.0 ppg) in its first four games, the most in a season's first four games in school history. The total fell just short of the school record for a four-game stretch, when the 1981-82 squad scored 392 points in the third through sixth games of that campaign.
"A lot of times last year, we would get a lead then play to the level (of the opponent) and not show a lot of energy," head coach Matt Bollant said. "But today we continued to play with energy. We've grown a lot in those areas. We did a good job of sharing the basketball and making the easy pass. We took what was there and got to the foul line quite a bit.
"I'm really proud of our team. They've grown immensely in just a week-and-a-half of basketball. I'm just pleased with the way they played today. I thought they really played unselfishly and we challenged them to go to the offensive boards and they did a great job of that."
Illinois held Alcorn State to only 10 points in the second half, breaking the State Farm Center record for fewest points in a half. The Illini also forced the Lady Braves into the worst field-goal shooting percentage by a UI opponent in school history, 15.21 percent (7-of-46), narrowly breaking the previous mark of 15.25 percent by SIU Edwardsville (9-of-59) from March 1, 1979.
Alcorn State's seven field goals were the second-fewest by an Illini opponent in school history. Illinois also held Alcorn State without a three-point field goal, holding the Lady Braves to 0-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc, the first time since Dec. 30, 2010, that the Illini held an opponent without a trey. And Illinois' 23 steals rank fourth in school history. All 10 Illini players who saw action played at least 12 minutes and none more than 27. The Illini held a 44-8 advantage in the paint and a 52-8 margin in points off turnovers. Illinois' bench scored 37 points, while the Lady Braves' reserves managed only six points.
Illinois controlled the game from the outset, jumping to a 15-4 lead just over four minutes into the contest. After a bucket by the Lady Braves, the Illini reeled off a 30-1 run over the next 7:13. Hartwell and Taylor Tuck each had seven points in that span, while Moore had six as six Illinois players scored during the spurt. The Illini substituted freely the rest of the half and led 60-18 at the break.
As much as the Orange and Blue controlled the first half, they did so even more in the second stanza, posting a 36-3 run-out in the first 12:02 of the period. Grant scored 10 in that stretch and Moore added nine. Crawford scored six, Mckenzie Piper scored five of her nine points on the afternoon and Gleason added four during that span.
The Orange and Blue return to action Thursday at 7 p.m. when they host Southern Illinois at State Farm Center.