COLLEGE PARK, Md — Illini shoots itself in the foot with ... turnovers.
The Illini held a 9-point lead after the half, but a rough third quarter ruined the potential upset over No. 8 Maryland on the road in an 82-71 loss Sunday afternoon.
With a win, Illinois would have reached 20 wins since the 2007-08 season. That Illini team suffered 15 losses and only reached the Sweet 16 of the WNIT. Even after this tough loss this Shauna Green-led Illini team has an unlimited celling that can go father than an Illini women’s team has ever gone before.
In the last couple of outings the three-point shot for the Illini has just not falling at the rate they would have wanted. It even made the Illini game-plan for more interior dominant attacks against Nebraska and Minnesota. But on Sunday it was raining down threes.
The Illini were on a scorcher in the first quarter going 5-for-5 from behind the arc. Jada Peebles (5-of-7) and Brynn Shoup-Hill (3-of-4) were igniting this Illini offense, as the Maryland defense had no answers for them.
As much as Maryland was having trouble with Illinois on defense, the Illini could not stop Maryland’s Diamond Miller. She was almost all of the Terps’ offense as she had an effortless 15 points heading into the half.
Maryland was able to crawl back into the game after some sloppy play by Illinois. The Terps were able to collect 12 points off of 18 turnovers and tied the game midway through the third. The pressure was getting to the Illini, especially with the absence of starting guard Genesis Bryant.
After leading by 9 at the break, the Illini were quickly down 14. A 13-0 run by Maryland to close out the third left the Illini speechless.
Makira Cook would end with a team-high 29 points, put it would be canceled out by Diamond Miller’s 31 for Maryland.
Illinois moves to 19-7 overall, and 9-6 in the Big Ten.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Quick start for Shoup-Hill
Peebles getting in the long-range fun
Cook reaches the 1,000 point mark
TWEET OF THE GAME
17 point Maryland swing for @IlliniWBB in 8 minutes. They're down by 7.— The Champaign Room (@Champaign_Room) February 12, 2023
20 turnovers on the road won't do it.
Only three games left in the regular season.
Illinois is back at State Farm Center next Sunday afternoon against Penn State.