Illinois WBB Gets Rare Win at Wisconsin


Madison, Wis. (via Illinois Athletics) - A 28-point effort from Chatrice White helped to lift the Illini over the Badgers in a dominating fashion on Wednesday, as Illinois earned its first road victory of the year. Three Illini put up double-figure scoring numbers in the 76-56 victory over Wisconsin. The Illini improve to 9-17 on the season and 2-13 in Big Ten play as Wisconsin falls to 7-18 overall and 3-12 in league play.

In addition to White's 28 points on the night, freshman Alex Wittinger contributed 16 points, and senior Kyley Simmons finished with 11. Both Brooke Kissinger and Kennedy Cattenhead added another nine points each for Illinois. Kissinger was hot from distance going 3-for-3, while Simmons dished a game-high seven assists.

"I'm really happy for our team," head coach Matt Bollant said. "I feel like we've done a great job of staying together and have carried ourselves in a manner that we're really proud of. Today I feel like our team got rewarded for that, I have been proud of them for their perseverance."

Illinois started the game on a high note, using a 10-3 run to overcome the Badgers' early lead pull ahead to a five-point lead. The Illini had put up five second chance points in the first period, off of two offensive boards, out-rebounding Wisconsin by one in the period. Illinois hit three three-pointers to start the game, led by sophomore Chatrice White who hit 2-of-2 from deep. She had put up 10 points before the second quarter to lead all scorers.

White added another 10 points to her tally in the second period, going into the locker room with a game-high 20 points at halftime. The Illini held Wisconsin to just seven points in the period, the lowest tally for a Big Ten opponent this season, and shot 90-percent from the field themselves. Illinois went 10-for-11 from the field and 4-for-4 from three-point range in the second quarter. UI held the Badgers to just 26.7-percent shooting in the first half and did not give up a single point off of turnovers.  Closing the period on an 11-0 run, the Illini carried their momentum into the third quarter of play.

"I thought Chatrice {White} was incredible in that first half," Bollant said. "In the second quarter we just got really good shots and we took care of the ball. Chatrice was phenomenal that first half with 20 points. She really carried us through that."

Redshirt senior Sarah Hartwell started the scoring in the second half, giving the Illini a 20-point advantage over the Badgers. The Orange and Blue worked to maintain that lead throughout the period, never letting Wisconsin cut too deep into the lead.  Wittinger joined White in double-figure scoring numbers as she had put up 10 points. White secured her 17th double-double of the season as she had racked up 27 points and 10 rebounds before the final period.

Illinois maintained its distance throughout the fourth quarter, despite allowing 22 points from Wisconsin. White finished with 28 points and 12 rebounds, also adding three blocks and two assists. Wisconsin shot just 35-percent on the day, the lowest for an Illini opponent in Big Ten play. Illinois netted 10 triples on the night, and shot almost 55-percent from the field, its best performance in league play this year.

"I'm really happy for our team. They've fought and stayed together and haven't always gotten the result we wanted," Bollant said. "Tonight we did, and that's a credit to them and to our staff for staying together and continuing to fight."

UI will prepare for another road contest, facing No. 5 Ohio State on Sunday. The game tips off at 1 p.m. CT. Stay tuned to for the latest on Illinois women's basketball.

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