Kalee Whipple scored 19 points in Monday's loss to Illinois.
March 19, 2007
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The University of Utah women's basketball team struggled offensively in Monday night's second-round WNIT contest at Illinois. The Utes converted just 28.8 percent from the field in a 59-48 loss to the Illini at Assembly Hall.
Utah never led in the contest and trailed by as many as 13 points early in the second half. But despite its offensive troubles, the Utes pulled within four points late. Jessica Perry scored underneath basket with 7:04 remaining to cap a 12-5 Utah run. That bucket left Utah down 44-40.
But Illinois put together a 9-0 run over the next two minutes. Lori Bjork and Danielle Gratton capped the spurt with back-to-back three-pointers. The two triples put the Illini on top 53-40 and effectively ended Utah's comeback bid.
Kalee Whipple scored a game-high 19 points for Utah and was one of the Utes' lone bright spots on offense. She also pulled down seven rebounds to tie with Jessica Perry for team-high honors. Morgan Warburton was the only other Ute in double figures, tallying 10 points.
Illinois was paced by Bjork's 13 points. Jenna Smith scored 11 for the Illini and grabbed a game-high nine boards. Erin Wigley tacked on 10 points off the bench for Illinois.
Utah's season comes to a close with a 19-14 overall mark. Illinois (19-11) advances to the third round of the WNIT to face Kansas State Thursday in Manhattan, Kan.