Bottom-seeded Illinois defeats Wisconsin in first-round B10s
Aaliyah Nye scored 17 points, Kendall Bostic notched his sixth double-double of the season and 14th-seeded Illinois snapped an 11-game losing streak with a 75-66 victory over Wisconsin, 11th seed, Wednesday in the first round of the Big Ten. tournament.
Illinois (7-19) is the first 14th seed to advance to the second round since Purdue in 2015. The Illini, whose only other conference win came in a regular-season split with Wisconsin, will face sixth-seeded Nebraska on Thursday.
Bostic had 12 points, 16 rebounds and six assists as all five Fighting Illini starters scored in double figures. Erika Porter, averaging 3.6 points, scored a career-high 15, Adalia McKenzie had 14 points and seven assists, and Jada Peebles added 12 points on 4 3-for-5 shooting. Illinois was 9 of 12 from the arc at 7 of 29 for Illinois.
Katie Nelson scored 27 points and eight assists to lead Wisconsin (8-21). Julie Pospisilova added 17 points and Halle Douglass 15.
Nye hit 5 of 6 from the 3-point line, including his last with just under a minute left for a seven-point lead. Nelson answered with a 3-pointer but Wisconsin didn’t score again. McKenzie picked up her inbound pass from Bostic and went to the hoop to score, and three free throws wrapped up the win.
Illinois led by 12 with just over three minutes before Pospisilova hit three straight runs to start Wisconsin’s late push.
Illini outscored Wisconsin 25-10 — including a 12-0 run — in the deciding third quarter, outscoring the Badgers by nearly 30% leading 55-43 heading into the final period.
Wisconsin led by two after the first quarter and held a slim lead throughout the second quarter for a 33-30 halftime advantage.
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