In Wisconsin’s second straight match against a conference opponent, Nancy Fahey and the Fighting Illini (6-8, 1-2 Big Ten) defeated Marisa Moseley’s Badgers (3-11, 0-4 Big Ten) 68-47 Jan. 9.

The Blue and Orange came out firing early on, establishing a 13-4 edge to open regulation. Illinois executed on seven of 16 total first-quarter shots compared to only 31.3% efficiency from the University of Wisconsin. Along with four 3-point looks from Aaliyah Nye, the Illini outscored the Badgers 23-13 in the first 10 minutes of action.

Wisconsin stormed back in the following quarter, tying the battle at 30 with three minutes to spare before halftime. With five assists, 10 rebounds and four scores in the paint, the Badgers chipped in 19 points to bring the score to 34-32 in favor of Illinois at intermission.

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In the blink of an eye, the University of Illinois retook control of the entire match. From the 6:51 mark to the 0:42 point of the third quarter, Illinois assembled a 15-4 scoring run, extended their advantage to 14, and essentially put the game away entering the final period. Jada Peebles put in eight points during the stretch, and Illinois did not look back.

UW did not scratch the scoresheet within the final 4:41 of game-time. With 51 ticks to go, Illinois increased its advantage to 21 off a Nye look from outside. Despite going 4-14 and 2-5 from deep, the Illini still outscored Wisconsin 13-6 in the final period, ending the contest with a 21-point lead.

U of I’s defensive front proved too much for the Badgers to overcome, as they overpowered UW on the glass 45-30. Illinois managed a 37% clip from three and 40% efficiency from the floor, whereas the Badgers chalked up 23.3% from behind-the-arc and 32.8% from the field. The Illini earned 15 bench points, 14 second chance tallies and eight scores off turnovers. Though Fahey’s group accounted for 15 giveaways, Illinois led for about 38 minutes (94.6%) of the bout.

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Badger guard Julie Pospíšilová shot just 6/20 from the field for 14 points, plucked three boards and grabbed two loose balls in 38 minutes. Without UW star Sydney Hilliard, point guard Katie Nelson played the entire contest and added 12 tallies, six assists and pulled down four missed attempts off the glass. Sophomore Halle Douglass racked up four points, seized seven rebounds and registered two steals in her third start of the year.

Nye, the leading scorer for the 2021-22 U of I squad, delivered seven three-point field goals for 21 points and snagged seven rebounds in 33 minutes on the hardwood. Junior guard Peebles dropped 16 tallies off a stout 66.7% clip from the floor, and her teammate, Kendall Bostic, snared a game-high 14 boards in 31 minutes of action.

Looking ahead, the Badgers face off next against the Minnesota Golden Gophers Jan. 12 in Madison.