No. 7 Penn State women overwhelm Illinois 95-62
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Illinois coach Matt Bollant is determined not to let a blowout loss to No. 7 Penn State affect the rest of the season.
That's good, because there were few highlights for the Illini after getting routed 95-62 on Wednesday night in Happy Valley.
Adrienne GodBold had 17 points for foul-plagued Illinois (15-10, 8-5), which fell behind by 21 by halftime after the Lady Lions shot 58 percent from the field in the first half.
"Have resiliency, don't let one game ... move into two," Bollant said when asked what the team would take away from the loss. "Keep believing and keep fighting. Don't let this game affect Saturday's game against Indiana."
Illinois, which was off to its best start in conference play since 1999-00, stumbled in a chance for a season-defining win on the road. They were tied for third in the Big Ten with Michigan and Purdue entering Wednesday night.
The Illini haven't won in Happy Valley since 1998.
Karisma Penn finished with 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting and five rebounds, but spent chunks of the game on the bench with foul trouble. Ivory Crawford had 10 points before also fouling out with 9:17 left.
Maggie Lucas scored 22 points, backcourt mate Alex Bentley added 20 and Penn State (22-3, 12-1) overwhelmed Illinois in transition to move a step closer to a second straight Big Ten regular-season title. Penn State had a two-game lead on second-place Nebraska entering Wednesday, with three games left on the Lady Lions' schedule after the win over the Illini.
The Lady Lions didn't let up down the stretch and led by as much as 27 early in the second half. Even 19 second-half turnovers couldn't derail Penn State after shooting 61 percent for the night — the first time the team eclipsed that mark since 1996.
A 49-26 run over the final 15 minutes of the first half gave control to Penn State.
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