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Illinois finishes non-conference play 8-3

The Illini open Big Ten play next week versus Indiana.

Photo by: Trevor Diedrich / Illinois Athletics

Illinois Women’s Basketball is off to a much better start compared to last year (9-5). There has been a lot of continuous improvement this season, especially with defense and teamwork.

Illinois will enter Big Ten play for the second straight season on a high note after finishing its non-conference slate 8-3 overall. In 2017, the Illini won nine games out-of-conference before dropping every Big Ten game, resulting in a disappointing first season for head coach Nancy Fahey.

Here’s a look at the last three Illinois games:

Dec. 11: Illinois 84, Murray State 52

The Illini defeated the Racers with a tough defense and a 56.5 shooting percentage.

Senior Alex Wittinger led the Illini with 22 points, 7 rebounds and 11-of-13 shooting from the field. Illinois freshmen also continued to excel in this game, as Mackenzie Blazek recorded a season-high 10 points on 5-for-5 shooting and Arieal Scott added 11 points.

Illinois recorded a season-high 23 assists this game.

Dec. 15: Illinois 74, SIUE 57

With a win over SIUE, Illinois earned its seventh home victory of the season. Three Illini scored double-digits in this game: Wittinger with 19 points, Brandi Beasley with 13, and Ali Andrews with 12.

The Illini secured 43 percent of their shots and had 21 assists.

Dec. 21: Illinois 45, Missouri 67

The Illini struggled in their last game of the non-conference season, unable to overcome the Missouri Tigers. Wittinger led Illinois with 15 points, followed by Beasley and redshirt junior Cierra Rice, each with 9. Blazek and Beasley also helped the Illini through the low-scoring second half — Blazek with 6 points and Beasley with an added 4.

Wittinger led the Illini with 70 percent shooting.

What’s Next?

Illinois will toast to the start of Big Ten play on Dec. 28 against the Indiana Hoosiers, who have only lost one game in the regular season. After that, the year will end against Northwestern (7-4), and the first game of 2019 will be against undefeated Minnesota.

For vintage inspired, high quality, and well-designed University of Illinois apparel, check out Fourth and Kirby, and look for the TCR Collection while you’re at it!