Nov. 18, 2006
Champaign, Ill. - After a solid first half that saw Illinois score the last six points to take a 45-35 lead into intermission, Loyola shot just 25% (7-for-28) from the floor in the second half in an 87-59 loss this afternoon at the Assembly Hall in Champaign, Ill.
Loyola scrapped its way through an opening 20 minutes, matching its taller hosts basket for basket. Three-pointers from Jessica Hylton and Marquise Hanser got the Ramblers on the board and five straight points from Elyse VanBogaert gave LU a 13-12 lead with 13:28 showing on the clock. Despite heavy foul trouble, Loyola was able to hang in and Hanser followed a Jennifer Juergens stick-back with another triple to give the Ramblers the lead back with under nine minutes to play. Lori Bjork answered with a triple of her own to give Illinois the lead back but a Jenna Real basket and a pair of Emily Ponder free throws brought the pesky Ramblers within three (36-33) at the 3:12 mark. However, Stephanie Chelleen followed with just her second career three-pointer to extend to a six-point lead and the Fighting Illini scored the last six points of the period to take a 45-35 lead into intermission. Led by 11 points from Hanser and seven from VanBogaert, Loyola had to overcome a 15-5 disadvantage in fouls, including three each on both Hanser and VanBogaert, which led to 17 Illinois free throws in the opening period.
Illinois opened the second half strong and managed to eventually pull away, holding Loyola to just one field goal over a key six-minute stretch midway through the period. Hanser fouled out with 9:26 on the clock but the Ramblers continued to battle behind freshman Jennifer Juergens, who narrowly missed a double-double, finishing with 12 points and eight rebounds.
Hanser finished with a team-high 13 points and was joined in double figures by Juergens. VanBogaert finished with nine points while Hylton and Real each finished with seven. Erin Wigley led all scorers with 15 points.