Karisma Penn led the squad in scoring for the fifth time this season with 17 in tonight's win.
Dec. 12, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois forced 22 turnovers and all five starters scored in double-digits for the first time this season as the Orange and Blue notched an 80-62 win over Oregon at the Assembly Hall on Wednesday. Senior forward Karisma Penn led the way with 17 points and 12 rebounds for her 33rd career double-double as Illinois improved to 6-4.
"(It's a) good win for our team," head coach Matt Bollant said. "That's a team that they lost to last year and now to beat by 18 points, I don't care who's injured, who doesn't play, that's a change and a step in the right direction. I'm really proud of our starting five with the balance that they showed. It's great to have Kersten Magrum back and doing some things for our team and I thought KP really stepped up in the second half."
In addition to Penn's big night, sophomore guard Ivory Crawford dropped 16 and pulled down six rebounds, along with three steals and two blocks. Amber Moore scored 15 on 4-of-11 shooting from behind the arc, and added six rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks. Alexis Smith scored 14 on 5-of-9 shooting, had six rebounds, six assists and three steals, and Magrum had 12 points and five boards.
The game marks the fifth time in 10 games that Illinois has topped the 80-point mark, all Illini victories. The Orange and Blue outscored Oregon 31-13 off turnovers, forcing 22 Duck miscues while committing 14 turnovers themselves. Illinois notched 13 steals, tying a season high that had been reached twice before. The Illini also hit 8-of-21 three-pointers and are 4-0 when nailing eight or more treys.
After a slow start for the Illini that saw Oregon grab a 9-3 lead at the first media timeout, Illinois put together a 12-2 burst to grab a 15-11 lead at the 11:33 mark. After Oregon scored the next bucket, the Illini reeled off the next eight points to start a 17-3 run that staked them to a 32-16 lead. The teams played even the rest of the way, each scoring four points to provide a 36-20 margin at halftime. That was Illinois' largest halftime lead of the season and the lowest halftime score by an Illini opponent this year.
The teams went back-and-forth for much of the first five minutes of the second half, then Oregon took advantage of four Illini turnovers to put together a 9-2 run that brought the Ducks within 50-41 with 12:41 left in the game. But Magrum hit 1-of-2 from the line, Penn nailed a jumper and 1-of-2 from the line, and Crawford hit a jumper to extend the lead back to 15 at 56-41.
The Ducks hit a three, cutting the margin to 12, but Illinois reeled off the next six points on a free throw from Crawford, a pair of freebies by Penn and a three-pointer from Moore, pushing the lead to 18 at 62-44 with 9:40 left and taking most of the fight out of the Ducks. Illinois led by as many as 20 three times in the game's final 3:06, but Oregon's Chloe Stiles hit a pair of free throws with 27 seconds remaining to reach the 80-62 final score.
The Illini have a week off for final exams before returning to the court by hosting Illinois State on Friday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m.