Illinois wins school-record 17th straight home game, as Blauser tallies 24 points - 1/3/99
With the Champaign area under a blizzard, the Fighting Illini (8-5, 2-1) took visiting Indiana (11-6, 0-3) by storm, mauling the Hoosiers, 96-65, at the Assembly Hall on Sunday. The win extended the Illini school-record home-court winning streak to 17 games.
With the score tied at 4-4, Illinois took control of the game with a 13-2 run, as all five Illini starters contributed points in the run, to take a 17-6 lead with 14:15 left in the half. The deficit remained 11 points, at 35-24, before the Illini ended the half with an 11-0 run to take a 22-point advantage into the break at 46-24.
In the second half, Illinois would lead by as many as 35 points as Indiana could never bring the deficit below 15 points. The Illini never trailed in the game and ran away with a 96-65 victory.
Despite feeling under the weather, Susan Blauser poured in 24 points and nine rebounds to raise her second-leading Big Ten scoring average to 18.7 points per game. Tauja Catchings added a season-high 21 points to go along with eight assists and six rebounds. Alicia Sheeler had 15 points and nine boards.
The margin of victory was the largest by Illinois over Indiana in school history. The previous best was a 78-63 win in 1990. The Illini scored more than 90 points against a Big Ten team for the 16th time in school history, 15 of which have come at home and 10 of which have come under Coach Theresa Grentz.
The Illini defense was equally responsible for the win, forcing 28 turnovers and holding Indiana to a season-low 31.7 percent from the field.
Kameelah Morgan led Indiana (11-6, 0-3) with 21 points off the bench. Cindy Kerns had 13 points and 14 rebounds.
Illinois takes on Michigan at Assembly Hall Tuesday. Tip-off is 7 p.m.