Illini Take Third in San Diego
The No. 25 Fighting Illini earned a weekend split at the San Diego Tournament, falling to Butler (81-65) on Friday night before coming back to claim third place with a 76-46 win over Yale on Saturday.
In the tournament opener, Butler overcame a three-point first half deficit to defeat the Illini. Illinois held a slim 30-27 advantage at the break but the Bulldogs hit 18 of 23 shots in the second half, good for 78 percent from the floor, to rally for the victory. Jennifer Marlow led the Bulldogs wtih 22 points, while three Illini tallied double-figures as Tauja Catchings and Susan Blauser led the squad with 14 points a piece and Alicia Sheeler added ten points.
In the third place game, Illinois took control early and never looked back, building a 36-22 lead at the break and running away with a 76-46 victory. Freshman Allison Curtin scored a career-high 21 points off the bench, hitting 8-14 shots before fouling out. Another freshman, Holly Wilson, added a career-high 10 points off the bench as Catchings scored 10 points and Blauser tallied 12 points.
The Illini are now 3-2 on the season and next play in the Elite 4 Holiday Classic in Orlando, Fla. on Sunday, against Washington.