Illini Upset Bid Falls Short at #11 Colorado
Dec. 7, 2013
BOULDER, Colo. - Illinois trailed by eight at halftime at No. 11 Colorado but shot 20 percent from the floor in the second half as the Buffaloes pulled away for a 79-56 win on Saturday. Illini freshman Jacqui Grant led all scorers with 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting, senior Amber Moore had 16 points and junior Ivory Crawfordadded 11 in a game that featured a 20-minute delay in the first half when an exterior sprinkler froze and burst, setting off the fire alarm and forcing the arena to be cleared.
"We did not shoot the ball very well, obviously," said Illinois associate head coach Mike Divilbiss, who acted as head coach with Matt Bollantsuffering from flu-like symptoms. "That was a little disappointing because I thought we got some good looks at it. Give Colorado credit. (Colorado head coach) Linda (Lappe) is doing a great job. They've made a lot of progress in the four years that she's been here. They've got highly skilled kids and we feel like we played against a very good team tonight.
"We didn't convert turnovers into baskets. We had opportunities but we just didn't convert them. I didn't think we took too many bad shots - I thought we did a lot better on that tonight, we got a lot of layups and open threes off turnovers - but we just didn't convert."
Illinois forced Colorado into a season-high 21 turnovers but tallied only 15 points off those miscues. The Buffs held a 15-5 advantage on second-chance points and 30-24 in the paint. Colorado shot 48.4 percent from the game compared to 30.8 by the Illini, with the Buffs hitting 42 percent of their three-pointers and Illinois connecting on only 27.8 percent (5-of-18) of its treys.
The Illini started with an 8-2 run, thanks to two treys from Amber Moore and a pair of free throws from Jacqui Grant. But Colorado countered with an 11-2 spurt of its own to lead 13-10. Illinois tied the game at 13 but the Buffs used a 7-0 run to take a lead it wouldn't relinquish for the rest of the half, going to the locker room with a 45-37 advantage. Grant scored 15 points in the half on 6-of-9 shooting, while Moore chipped in 12.
Colorado started the half with a 15-3 run and never looked back. Near the midpoint of the second half, the Illini went to the "buzz" defense and forced five consecutive turnovers but converted them into only four points, which was a microcosm of the game. Illinois cut the margin to 14 with Grant's two free throws at the 8:16 mark but the Buffs scored the next eight points to salt the game away.
The Illini face another quick turnaround as they host Seton Hall (7-1) Monday at 7 p.m. at State Farm Center. It will be '90s night, with prizes for the best costume featuring 1990s fashion, music from the decade and contests featuring pop culture from the 1990s. Fans can buy $9 family four-packs of tickets at the Illinois Ticket Office at State Farm Center or over the phone 1-866-ILLINI-1