CHAMPAIGN, IL — Illinois women's basketball kept rolling on Sunday, winning its fourth in a row, an 89-70 victory over visiting Alabama State in front of 1,670 at the Assembly Hall. The Illini finish the pre-Christmas schedule at 5-4. Alabama State falls to 3-3.
Cindy Dallas led the Illini in both points and rebounds with 23 and 11, respectively. This game was the last of the three-game home stand where the Illini finished a perfect 3-0. Dallas recorded her 800th rebound for her career, just the sixth Illinois player to reach the mark. Dallas also recorded her 24th career double-double.
After Alabama State jumped to an early 7-6 lead, the Illini took control and in a big way, going on a 30-6 run to take a commanding 36-13 lead. The lead was 48-22 lead at halftime. In first half, the Illini pressured the ball, forcing 12 turnovers, which led to 16 points, including eight in transition. Aminata Yanni scored 11 of her 16 points in the opening half on 5-of-9 shooting. The Illini shot 54.3 percent from the field in the first half and 50.8 percent from the field for the game. The Illini defense was tough in the first half as Alabama State made just 8 of 28 field goals (28.6 percent) in the opening half.
The Illinois lead reached 60-32 at the 14:24 mark on a basket from Angelina Williams before Alabama State hit some threes from way beyond the arc to help close the gap by the final horn.
Illinois found themselves spreading the wealth as four players scored in double-figures and had ten different players score in the game. Yanni scored 16 points to go along with four rebounds and three steals. Others on the attack Sunday were juniors, Tiffanie Guthrie and Angelina Williams who added 17 and 13 points respectively.
Alabama State didn't have the answers for the Illini's defensive attack this day as they fell victim to 11 steals. Illinois forced 20 Alabama State turnovers for the game. The Illini owned the glass as well in this game dominating the Lady Hornets 40-31. The Illini shot 50.8 percent for the game compared to Lady Hornets 41.3 percent for the game.
"Overall it was a complete effort," said Illinois Head Coach Theresa Grentz. "If you look at the stat sheet, we reached all our goals – 15 turnovers or less, 20 assists, 11 steals, and over 50 percent from the field."
The Illini will enjoy the holidays with another week off before they travel to Norman, Okla. to take on the 13th ranked Oklahoma Sooners at 2 p.m. next Sunday. Oklahoma lost at home today to #2 Tennessee, 71-55. The next Illinois home game is Jan. 8 vs. #17 Ohio State.
Team Rebounds: 4
Turnovers: 15 (A. Yanni 4, C. Dallas 3, E. Wigley 2, T. Guthrie, A. Williams, A. Tabon, J. Issenmann, B. Daugherty)
Blocked Shots: 4 (A. Williams 2, T. Guthrie, A. Tabon, J. Issenmann)
Steals: 11 (A. Yanni 3, C. Dallas 3, J, Hughes 2, A. Williams, A. Tabon, J. Issenmann)
3-Point Field Goals: 3-10 (J. Hughes 1-1, B. Daugherty 1-2, A. Yanni 1-6, T. Guthrie 0-1)