Team Moves On To Face Penn State - 2/27/99
Four Illinois players scored in double figures, led by Susan Blauser's 24 points, en route to a comfortable 86-73 win over Michigan in a Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal matchup Saturday in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The Illini advance to the tournament semifinals to face Penn State, which defeated Michigan State Saturday 79-74. Illinois and Penn State will tip off Sunday at app. 2:30 p.m. CST.
Illinois did not trail at any point in the game's final 33 minutes. The team outscored Michigan in the paint 46-28, and made 20 more free throws than its opponent.
Blauser added nine rebounds to her game-high point total. Allison Curtin scored 20 for the Illini, who are now 6-5 all-time in the Big Ten Tournament. It is the second time Illinois has advanced to the semifinals.
"Our game plan was to go inside," Illinois head coach Theresa Grentz said. "That's what we do best. We can't concern ourselves with the things we can't do, but instead, when we concentrate on what we can do well, we don't lose. I want them to be competitors, and when they do that, they are."
Illinois shot .574 from the floor, compared to just .431 for the Wolverines. Illinois top three scorers--Blauser, Curtin and Alicia Sheeler (16 points)--were a combined 24 of 39.
"Alicia Sheeler and Susan Blauser are a tough combo to stop," Michigan head coach Sue Guevara said. "Allison Curtin is a great player, no question that she should be on the All-Big Ten Freshman team. She really hurt us from the baseline."
Anne Lemire led the Wolverines with a season-high 22 points, and Anne Thorius tied a Big Ten Tournament single game record with 11 assists.