Guthrie, Illini 'bomb' Hoosiers

Illini fans remember Nick Anderson's long three that beat Indiana in Bloomington in the magical year of 1989. Although not quite as dramatic, Tiffanie Guthrie hit a similar shot from 35-feet and almost the identical spot on the floor at the end of the first half against the Hoosiers. That tied the game at 28-28. She and her teammates carried that momentum into the second half in a 64-52 victory over Indiana Sunday in Bloomington.

Bloomington, IN - The trey was significant because the Illinois struggled somewhat in the first half, yet the Illini found themselves in a dead heat at the break despite Indiana leading by as many as seven at 22-15 and Illinois committing 13 first-half turnovers.

Illinois took control of the game in a two-minute span of the second half. Trailing 36-30 with 15:42 left in the game, the Illini went on an 18-6 run to take a 48-42 lead and never looked back. Token pressure forced several steals and Indiana could never get in the flow of its offense in the second half.

Guthrie finished the game with 19 points and nine rebounds. That performance came on the heels of a 26-point, nine-rebound effort by Guthrie Thursday at Northwestern. In her last five games Guthrie has 94 points, 40 rebounds and 17 assists.

Cindy Dallas posted her 31st career double-double and eighth of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds all the while going up against Indiana's 6-7 freshman Sarah McKay. Angelina Williams added 16 points and eight rebounds. The Illini out-rebounded Indiana 39-31 and have out-rebounded four of its last five opponents, three by eight boards or more.

The win for Illinois (10-12, 4-7 in the Big Ten) was its third straight and puts the Illini ahead of the Hoosiers in the Big Ten Standings and in a tie with Michigan for seventh in the league. Illinois has a week before welcoming 13th-ranked Minnesota to Champaign on Sunday, Feb. 15.

The turning point in the game came at the 14-minute mark in a flurry of activity. Trailing 38-36, Erin Wigley canned a mid-range jumper to tie the score. After Indiana's Jenny DeMuth misfired on a quick three-point on the other end, Angelina Williams got the rebound and led a fast-break culminating in a reverse lay-up from Wigley (eight points). Wigley missed a chance at a three-point play, but Illinois got the rebound, which led to Cindy Dallas getting fouled and making one free throw. Guthrie got a steal in the back court and fed Dallas for a lay-up giving Illinois seven points in a span of under two minutes.

The lead was Illinois' first since 5-4 and the Illini never trailed after that. Although DeMuth, one of the top scorers in the Big Ten, tallied 17 points, she made just 5 of 15 field goals. The Illini defense also forced the Hoosiers to shoot just 33 percent (9 of 27) in the second half and 37 percent for the game.

"I like the way Tiffanie Guthie sent us into the locker room at halftime with that three-pointer," Illini Head Coach Theresa Grentz said. "I'm proud of (our team). They stayed calm and together. They did what they needed to do and got the win. We figured out what we had to do and made some adjustments and I think that speaks to the maturity of the team. I thought they played a very good second half and deserving."

Story Courtesy the University of Illinois

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