By Matt Stevens - IlliniGuys Staff Writer
November 15, 2023
(Cover photo courtesy Illinois Athletics)
CHAMPAIGN — The fourth-largest crowd in Illinois women’s basketball history saw the home team easily cruise to a blowout win.
Illinois welcomed an announced attendance of 11,563 to see Shauna Green’s Illini program easily dispatch Saint Peter’s 103-33 on the ‘Field Trip Day’ where thousands of youngsters get a day off school to attend an Illini basketball game for free.
“I think we had something close to 11,000 kids in the stands today and I think they gave them a pretty good game to watch in terms of scoring,” Green said following the victory. “I know we scored 100 points
In the 70-point dominating victory, which is the third-largest margin of victory in program history, Illinois jumped out to a 27-4 lead after the opening quarter against a low major program that has lost 36 of its last 38 contests dating back to March 2022. Just days after being dropped from the Associated Press Top 25 poll following its 71-67 loss at Marquette this past weekend, Illinois got a team-high 19 points from fifth-year senior Jada Peebles as the guard knocked down 4 of 7 from three-point range in the first half.
Kendall Bostic, who said before and after the game that the ‘Field Trip Day’ game at Illinois is her favorite game on the Illini schedule as a current student-teacher when she’s not on the basketball floor, recorded her 19th career double-double effort of her four-year career. The Kokomo, Ind. native posted 14 points and 10 rebounds in just 19 minutes of action for the 2023 All-Big Ten Conference selection.
Saint Peter’s was just two days removed from its first win over a Division I opponent as they defeated Central Connecticut State 61-57 in its home gymnasium in Jersey City, N.J. but it took the Peacocks (1-2) until there was six minutes and 18 seconds remaining in the second quarter to reach a double-digit point total.
Duke transfer Shay Bollin received the most minutes of her college career on Wednesday afternoon and the former McDonald’s All-American nominee out of high school scored 14 points in 22 minutes.
Bollin arrived at Illinois after just playing eight games at Duke last season following a high school career that included back-to-back knee surgeries before she graduated from Bridgewater-Raynham (Mass.) Regional High School.
“Today was the first day I felt like I was just playing,” Bollin said. “Struggling through injuries and the transfer portal process, I’ve been working on my mind to get stronger…going into the second half, my assistant coach (DeAntoine Beasley) came over to me and said ‘just play free, have fun’ and that’s exactly what I tried to do.”
Illinois will next play No. 16 Notre Dame on Saturday in Washington D.C. in the second-annual Citi Shamrock Classic with the scheduled tip time being noon CST on NBC. Last season's inaugural Citi Shamrock Classic between California and Notre Dame marked the first women's college basketball game aired by NBC.
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