LUBBOCK, Texas. (UI Release) - Illinois came up short in their first match of their two game road trip this week, losing 75-56 to Texas Tech (7-1). As a result the Fighting Illini fall to .500 on the young season at 4-4. The Orange and Blue shot 36.7% from the field and 75.0% from the free throw-line but just 2-14 from beyond the arc. Amber Moore led the team with her 21 points on 6-13 shooting from the floor, her fifth double-digit scoring game on the year. Karisma Penn and Ivory Crawford also recorded double-figures with 18 and 11, respectively.
"Give Texas Tech credit, they're a good basketball team," said head coach Matt Bollant. "Chynna Brown was a difference-maker in the game."
Texas Tech made a pair of shots at the shot-clock buzzer early the second half, one a three-pointer, to nullify two good defensive possessions by the Illini and extend the margin to 47-37 at the 11:47 mark. The Lady Raiders nailed another trey at the buzzer with 11:15 and added a layup in transition, pushing their lead to 52-38 at the 10:30 mark as Bollant called timeout.
The Lady Raiders continued to find holes in the Illini defense and took advantage of some Illinois turnovers on the way to a 12-4 run that salted the game away, putting Texas Tech on top, 70-50, with 3:04 left in the game.
Illinois attempted to take advantage of a rare four-point play when a personal foul was called on one Lady Raider and a technical was called on another, allowing Moore to shoot four straight free throws and drain them all, bringing the Illini within 70-56. But Tech scored the next five points to finish the game with a 75-56 Lady Raider victory.
After a sloppy first half in which the two teams combined for 26 turnovers and only 17 field goals, the Lady Raiders went on a 16-4 run to close out the half and take a 30-22 lead to the locker room.
"I felt good about our first 12 minutes of the game except for the foul trouble," continued Bollant. "Then we had to rotate and we didn't get much from our bench. We've been asking our girls to fight and they fought for longer periods of time tonight than they had in the past, it just wasn't enough."
The Illini head back out on the road this weekend when they travel to Memphis for a 2 p.m. tip on Sunday. The Tigers are 3-3 on the season and play Arkansas-Little Rock Friday in Memphis.
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