Illini Beat Huskies at Disneyworld
Despite rebounding and turnover woes, the Fighting Illini (4-2) came back from an early deficit to defeat Washington (2-4), 85-73, at the Honda Elite 4 Holiday Classic at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida on Sunday.
The Illini went scoreless until nearly four minutes into the game, as Washington built a 6-0 lead. Senior Alicia Sheeler started and ended a 10-0 rally with jumpers, scoring eight points in the run, to put the Illini up 10-6 with 14:17 left in the half. The game remained tight in the first half, as Illinois was unable to keep the Huskies off the offensive glass. With a 21-20 lead with 7:58 left, Melissa Parker and Allison Curtin combined for eight points in an 11-2 run to give the Illini a 32-22 advantage. Curtin knocked down a three-pointer to end the half to give UI a 42-33 lead at the break.
Sheeler opened the second stanza with a baseline jumper as the Illin built a 48-33 lead just minutes into the second half. The Huskies were never able to come closer than six points in the second half, despite both Sheeler and Susan Blauser fouling out with more than four minutes left in the game. After Sheeler's fifth personal, an Amber Hall free throw made it 74-68 with 4:24 left in the game, but Tauja Catchings started and finished an 8-0 run to put the game away.
Washington outrebounded the Illini 50-46, as the Huskies collected 30 offensive boards and put two players in double-figures. The Illini also turned the ball over 21 times, but had 18 assists compared to only seven for the Huskies. Washington was held to .329 from the floor, as UI hit at a 46 percent clip, including 52 percent in the second half.
Catchings earned her second double-double of the season with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while dishing out a team-high six assists. Blauser added 14 points while Sheeler and junior Kylie Martin both chipped in 13 points a piece.
Illinois concludes a five-game road trip this weekend, as the squad heads to DePaul on Friday and is at Marquette on Sunday.