COLLEGE PARK, MD. — After coming out victorious in back to back must-win Big Ten games, Illinois women’s hoops fell 90-82 to a tough Maryland squad on the road on Saturday.
In a game that many thought could revive an unforeseen season for the Illini, they fell to the bottom four in the Big Ten as of Sunday morning.
The Illini (8-9, 2-5 Big Ten) lost to Maryland (12-6, 4-3 Big Ten) despite setting a new program record for most makes while shooting 100% from the charity stripe (16-for-16). The offense came to play, but Illinois’ defense could not contain Maryland’s starting guards who combined for a total of 44 points.
Mid-range jumpers with a side of second chance buckets was the recipe for success for Illinois in the first quarter. Adalia Mckenzie was an early problem for Maryland, torching them all around the rim. However, on the other end of the floor, the Terrapins’ Bri McDaniel was giving Illinois even more fits hanging a quick 12 on them.
The first half was all business for Illinois’ Camille Hobby. Scoring 12 points in the first half and adding a few boards to her name, she was the hot hand the Illini needed out of the gate. This was her second time in the starting lineup after senior Jada Peebles suffered a season-ending injury earlier in the week. With her role elevated she came to play, during her career-high in minutes (35), she finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 steals.
An Illinois’ Gretchen Dolan three at the buzzer made it a one-score game heading into the second half.
A complete team effort by Maryland in the second saw four of its five starters get to more than 12 points in the third, with Jakia Brown-Turner being the most impressive. If it wasn’t for Genesis Bryant getting to the charity strip 8 times, this game could have gotten out of hand fast.
A rare Kendall Bostic make from behind the arc cut the Maryland score to three with the last frame looming.
Both teams came out aggressive trading blows left and right with the balance of the game up for grabs. However, it caused a very long final quarter as a total of 14 total fouls were committed by both teams. With Illinois scoring primarily from the free throw line, it allowed the Terrapins to grow their lead having more opportunities.
Illinois came to play, but could not overcome Maryland on the road.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Nice ball movement finds Bryant in rhythm.
A nice dish from Hobby finds Dolan for big buzzer-beating three.
- Bri McDaniel (MD): 22 points, 4 assists
- Jakia Brown-Turner (MD): 20 points, 10 rebounds
- Genesis Bryant (ILL): 19 points, 5 assists, 8-8 FT
- Camille Hobby (ILL): 18 points, 7 rebounds
- Allie Kubeck (MD): 17 points, 6-9 FG, 5-5 FT
The Illini will have the tall task of starting their two game home-stand against No. 18 Ohio State on Thursday.
Tip-off is at 6 p.m. on Peacock.