By Will Charlton
INDIANAPOLIS — The Illinois women’s basketball team won their first Big Ten tournament game on Wednesday against Wisconsin 75-66, which snapped an 11-game losing streak.
The Illini held the 14th and last overall seed in the Big Ten entering the tournament with a 6-19 overall record along with a 1-13 conference record.
The coincidental thing was their only other win in the conference came against Wisconsin in Champaign back in early January.
The Illini were led by Kendall Bostic and Aaliyah Nye. Bostic had 12 points and 16 rebounds, as she continues to prove why she was the leading rebounder in the conference this season. Nye led the team in scoring with 17 points including going 5-6 from the 3-point line, as her hot streak rolls on.
Other scorers in double digits included Erika Porter with 15, Adalia Mackenzie with 14, and Jada Peebles with 12.
The Illini got off to a slow start, being down at halftime 33-30.
The third quarter is when the Illini came alive as they outscored Wisconsin 25-10, including outscoring the Badgers 45-33 in the second half.
And speaking of that second half, the Illini were very efficient as they shot 15-26 from the field and 7-8 from the 3-point line en route to the win.
For the entire game, the Illini were 27-57 from the field, 9-12 from the 3-point line, and 12-16 from the free throw line.
This is now the second straight season where the Illini have won their first Big Ten tournament matchup, which coincidentally was against Wisconsin last season too.
They got bounced in the second round by Northwestern last year, so they will be looking to top that performance this time around.
The Illini will now take on the sixth seeded Nebraska Cornhuskers who come in with a 22-7 overall record and an 11-7 Big Ten record. Earlier this season, Nebraska came into Champaign and got the win 82-63 in a game where the Illini nearly made a comeback.
Tip off is slated for sometime near 7:30 PM tonight, as the game will commence 30 minutes after the prior second round game.
Story photo courtesy of Harry Figiel/Fighting Illini Athletics