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Illinois women’s basketball still winless in Big Ten play

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Best effort of the season provides glimmer of hope for Illini.

@IlliniWB

It's never fun to write about a loss.

However, there's plenty to be optimistic about after last week's valiant effort by the Fighting Illini Women's basketball effort against a solid Nebraska squad at the State Farm Center.

This was a much more concerted effort all around by the Illini as they gave Nebraska all they could handle before eventually falling 80-72.

Once again, the Fighting Illini were paced by junior Alex Wittinger as she tore the Huskers up in the post to the tune of 23 points and 7 rebounds. Star guard Brandi Beasley also put forth a terrific effort as she notched her 3rd career double-double with 10 points and 11 assists.

The biggest difference in this game was the contributions from other members of the team besides Wittinger and Beasley. Ali Andrews continues to be a solid tertiary option when she's on the floor, as she added 13 points in an efficient 35 minutes. 5'10" sophomore guard Courtney Joens matched Andrews with 13 in 27 minutes.

For Nebraska, sophomore guard Hannah Whitish led the team with 20 points, followed by Maddie Simon (11 points), and Janay Morton and Kate Cain (10 points apiece).

It was a more well rounded effort, with the bench getting in on the action and adding a much needed spark to a team that has been bullied so far in conference play. Even in defeat, it was refreshing to see the intensity put forth by the Illini on Wednesday.

The Illini take on Michigan State tonight at 8 pm on the Big Ten Network for Hail to the Orange Night at State Farm Center.