Illini Fall Late In Battle With No. 25 Florida State
Credit Source: University of Illinois Athletics
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team went toe-to-toe with the No. 25- ranked Florida State Seminoles on Thursday night at State Farm Center. But despite double-digit scoring games from Aaliyah Nye, Jada Peebles, and De’Myla Brown, Illinois (3-4) was unable to keep pace with FSU (5-2) into the fourth quarter of a 67-58 setback in the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge matchup.
Nye poured in a game-high 17 points, while Peebles added 12. Brown chipped in with 11 points, providing a spark off the bench for the first time this season after starting the first six games. The trio combined to knock down all seven of the Illini’s three-pointers on the night, with Nye and Peebles hitting three each.
Sophomore F Kendall Bostic led the Illini with 10 rebounds, matching FSU’s Morgan Jones for game-high honors. Bostic also added a pair of assists, but was held scoreless for the first time in her career as an Illini.
In addition to her 10 rebounds, Jones also recorded a double-double with 12 points to match the offensive output of teammates Makayla Timpson and O’Mariah Gordon who combined for 24 of the Seminoles’ 39 bench points on the night.
The Illini battled the Seminoles to a 15-15 tie after the first quarter, and trailed by just five points, 33-28, at halftime. The deficit reached seven, 37-30, with 7:08 remaining in the third quarter when Eva Rubin and Sara Anastasieska keyed a 7-0 Illini run to tie the game, 37-37, with 5:20 left in the third.
And with the Illini trailing by 49-44 after three periods, the Seminoles were able to hold the Orange and Blue scoreless for the opening 3 minutes of the fourth period, pushing the lead to 14 points, 58-44, on a Gordon three with 7:25 remaining.
Nye snapped the Illini scoring drought with the first of her two fourth-quarter three-pointers, but the Illini were unable to pull back to within striking distance of the lead for the remainder of the game.
The Fighting Illini return to the court this weekend, hosting Eastern Kentucky at 2 p.m. CT Sunday at State Farm Center.
- The Fighting Illini move to 3-4 overall and 0-2 in the all-time series vs. Florida State.
- The Illini move to 4-10 overall in Big Ten/ACC Challenge Games and 2-5 in challenge games played at State Farm Center.
- The Illini turned in their best performance of the season at the free-throw line, connecting on 75 percent of their attempts (15-of-20).
- Illinois has now shot at least 20 free throws in six of seven games to start the 2021-22 season.
- Illinois pulled down 35 rebounds vs. the Seminoles on Thursday, the second-most by an FSU opponent this season (BYU, 36). FSU entered the game with a +10.3 average on the boards, and finished with a 40-35 edge, but trailed the Illini in the category, 24-19, at halftime.
- Illinois’ bench was outscored by a 39-15 margin, the first time that an opponent outscored the Illini reserves this season. The Illini entered the game with a +15.4 ppg edge in bench scoring.
- Sophomore G Aaliyah Nye scored 17 points, reaching double-figures scoring for the fourth time this season and the 11th time in her first 25-career games as an Illini.
- Junior G Jada Peebles, the Illini’s leading scorer from last season, tallied 12 points to reach double-figures scoring for just the second time this season.
- Junior G De’Myla Brown tallied 11 points, reaching double-figures scoring for the fourth time in her first seven games as an Illini.
- Brown and Nye are tied for the team lead with four double-digit scoring games so far this season.
- Brown recorded four steals in the game, tying her career-high set earlier this season vs. Miami (OH).
- Sophomore F Kendall Bostic pulled down 10 rebounds, her fourth game of the season with double-digit rebounds. Bostic entered the game ranked fourth in the Big Ten and 37th nationally at 10.0 rebounds per game.