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Sunday, April 14
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

No. 14 Indiana women’s basketball falls to Illinois on the road 86-66


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — With a showdown against No. 4 Iowa looming Thursday, No. 14 Indiana women’s basketball looked to stay focused and take care of business on the road against Illinois. A second-quarter collapse left the Hoosiers with a 16-point deficit, one too steep for them to overcome as the Fighting Illini knocked off Indiana 86-66. 

The Hoosiers got on the board first when graduate student forward Mackenzie Holmes sunk a left-handed layup from the block. Indiana’s leading scorer would go on to score the cream and crimson's first 8 points, yet Illinois held on to a 9-8 lead midway through the first quarter. 

Sophomore forward Yarden Garzon led the way with a pair of buckets for a 7-0 Indiana run as the Hoosiers took a 15-9 lead. However, the Fighting Illini wasted no time striking back with a 7-0 run, taking an 18-17 advantage as the first quarter came to a close. 

The Fighting Illini rushed to a 34-24 lead with 5:16 left in the second frame of play, as Indiana went ice cold from the field. The Hoosiers finished the first half shooting 14.3% from the 3-point line. Fifth-year senior guard Sara Scalia got herself in the scoring column with a layup as Indiana hoped to cut into the deficit, but once more the Illini answered back.  

A 10-0 run gave Illinois a 44-26 lead with 1:08 left to play in the half. Holmes’ gave the Hoosiers a pair of free throws to stop the bleeding in the final seconds of the quarter, one which the Illini outscored Indiana 26-11. 

The Hoosiers came out of the half strong, as a 7-0 run brought them within 9 points with 7:28 to go in the third quarter. Indiana began to regain its usual efficiency from beyond the arc, shooting 3-for-6 from the 3-point line in the third period of play. Unfortunately for the cream and crimson, those shots were not enough to make a significant dent in the deficit, as the Illini clawed back to a 61-47 lead by the end of the third quarter. 

While Indiana once more clawed back within single digits, the Hoosiers were incapable of stringing together defensive stops. Additionally, 14 total turnovers plagued the cream and crimson on the offensive end and spoiled their hopes of a comeback victory. Holmes led all scorers with 24 points, but it wasn't enough as the Hoosiers fell on the road at the hands of the Illini. 

Next up for Indiana (21-4, 12-3 Big Ten) is the long-awaited rematch with No. 4 Iowa (23-3, 12-2 Big Ten) Thursday evening. The Hawkeyes, led by senior guard Caitlin Clark, routed the Hoosiers in their Jan. 13 matchup 84-57.  

Indiana will look to bounce back from its loss against Illinois in a big way, as it looks for redemption against Iowa inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m, Thursday with the game being broadcast on Peacock. 

Follow reporters Dalton James (@DaltonMJames) and Quinn Richards (@Quinn_richa), columnist Ryan Canfield (@_ryancanfield) and photographer Olivia Bianco (@theoliviabianco) for updates throughout the Indiana women’s basketball season.

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