CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Indiana women's basketball team ran past Illinois for the program's first Big Ten road win in nearly three years with a 77-58 victory on Sunday afternoon at the State Farm Center. Alexis Gassion tallied a career-high 22 points to lead the Hoosiers.
After a tough shooting night last time out against Northwestern, the young Hoosiers rebounded to shoot 47.5 percent (28-of-49) from the field and 44.4 percent (12-of-27) from beyond the arc against Illinois. The 12 made 3-pointers ties the team's season high and ties for second most 3-point field goals made in a single game in program history.
The game was played a rapid pace to start as Indiana led 17-14 just five minutes into the game. A Simone Deloach layup and Taylor Agler 3-pointer extended IU's lead to eight. Illinois hit a free throw before Larryn Brooks answered with a jumper to make it a 24-15 Hoosier lead with 12:51 on the clock.
Lyndsay Leikem kept the good fortune going receiving a lob pass from Agler for a lay in and Deloach later followed with a field goal, as the lead was now 13 points for IU. Back-to-back treys from Brooks and Alexis Gassion capped a 17-1 Indiana run with the score reading 34-15 in IU's favor with 10:54 to go.
Later in the half, a string of turnovers prompted IU to go over five minutes without a field goal before another Agler trey put Indiana ahead 43-25. But Illinois scored six straight to end the half as the Hoosiers took a 43-31 lead into the halftime break.
The Hoosiers came out of the break hitting on all cylinders. Brooks connected on a 3-pointer and a free throw before great ball movement led to a Leikem 3-point field goal from the top of the key as IU outscored the Illini 13-5 in the first 7:47 of the half to take a 59-36 advantage.
Illinois fired back with six quick points, but IU answered with five straight points of its own to lead 64-42. Agler later hit a 3-pointer at the 4:59 mark to give the Hoosiers their biggest lead of the day, 75-49 to seal the road victory.
Indiana's last Big Ten road win came at Illinois on Feb. 10, 2011.
Four Hoosiers scored in double figures led by Gassion's career day as she shot 8-of-10 from the field, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc to go along with five rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal.
Brooks accomplished her second double-double of the year with 16 points and a career-high tying 10 assists. Agler poured in 13 points with six assists and three boards. Indiana's Leikem came off the bench to finish with her first career double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. Deloach just missed a double-double as she finished with nine point and nine rebounds.
The Hoosiers outrebounded the Illini 45-26 and limited Illinois to shoot under 40 percent and only 16.7 percent (4-of-24) from long distance.
IU had 21 assists for the afternoon on its 28 made field goals. It marked the second time this year that Indiana had over 20 assists as a team and its most in Big Ten play.
The Hoosiers will next play at home on Saturday, Feb. 8 against Wisconsin in Assembly Hall at 1 p.m. ET.