No. 18 Iowa made the most of every possession Sunday to hold off Illinois 80-69 in Assembly Hall in Champaign, Ill.
Iowa (17-5, 5-4) shot a season-best 52.1 percent from the floor, including 8-of-12 from 3-point range to help offset 22 turnovers.
“I’m unhappy with our turnovers and give credit to the Illinois defense,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “They are aggressive and took us off guard a little bit.”
Illinois (7-15, 2-7) took 77 shots compared with just 48 by Iowa but shot just 35 percent from the field and was 5-of-24 from beyond the arc.
“Our zone was pretty good in the second half,” Bluder said. “We had a couple of traps that made them a little nervous. They just didn’t hit from the outside too much against our zone.”
Iowa led by one, 40-39, at the half but opened the second half with a 3-pointer from Kamille Wahlin.
Lydia McCully hit a 3-pointer and a pair of foul shots in the final minutes to cut the Hawkeye second-half lead to three, 68-65, but Iowa responded with a 3-point basket by Kelly Krei.
The Hawkeyes then hit 9-of-12 at the free-throw line in the final 1:21 to seal up the win.
Sophomore center Morgan Johnson led Iowa with 17 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots.
“I thought Morgan played well, especially against their zone,” Bluder said. “We were able to get the ball inside, and Morgan attacked Charisma Penn.”
All five starters scored in double figures for the second time this season. Kachine Alexander led Iowa with 19 points, and Jaime Printy added 17 points. Wahlin scored 13 and Krei had 11.
Penn led Illinois with 22 points and 12 rebounds. McCully had 11 points and nine assists.
Iowa returns to action on Thursday with a road trip to West Lafayette, Ind., to take on Purdue (15-7, 5-4).
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball