CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois women’s basketball team held on to beat Northwestern Thursday night, 85-79 in Champaign.
Kendall Bostic notched another double-double for the Illini, grabbing 16 rebounds and scoring 15 points. It was Bostic’s fifth double this season.
Illinois led by 18 points at halftime, but the outcome was in doubt until Bostic converted a three-point play in the game’s final minute.
“That last play, that was just me doing what I do,” Bostic said after the game. “I tried to get the rebound, hunt the ball down, and got an and-one. Makira (Cook) had a really good drive, and I was just in the right spot at the right time.”
Cook led all scorers with 23 points. All five Illinois starters scored in double figures.
Head coach Shauna Green was pleased with her team’s first-half performance, but not so much the second half.
“I thought our first half was great. I thought our second quarter, we were playing really, really well,” Green said. “And then we came out of half, and I think we left our defense in the locker room.”
The Illini allowed Northwestern to score just 27 points in the first half, then allowed 29 points in the third quarter alone.
Long distance shooting helped Illinois hold off the Wildcats, as the Illini hit 12-28 shots from three-point range, while Northwestern was just 5-17 from behind the line.
It was Illinois’ seventh straight win to improve to 14-2 overall and 4-1 in Big Ten conference play. If the Illini want an eighth consecutive win, they’ll have to earn it on the road Sunday at No. 3 Ohio State. The Buckeyes are unbeaten in 16 games so far this season.