BLOOMINGTON, IN (WFIE) - Senior forward Amanda Cahill poured in a team-high 20 points as Indiana was backed by three players in double figures for its fifth-straight win with a 70-54 victory over Illinois on Thursday night.
Cahill went 6-for-10 from the floor while going 4-for-7 from 3-point range. Junior forward Kym Royster added her 15th double-figure scoring game with 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting to go along with five rebounds and a 5-for-6 clip from the free throw line.
Senior guard Tyra Buss also contributed double figures with 16 points, a team-high six assists to go along with six rebounds. Indiana shot 50 percent from the floor in the win while outrebounding the Fighting Illini, 34-25. Illinois (9-17, 0-12 B1G) shot just 38.9 percent and 19 percent from 3-point range (4-for-21).
Freshman guard Bendu Yeaney added nine points, four rebounds and three assists while freshman guard Jaelynn Penn contributed six points, six rebounds, two steals, two assists and a block. The Hoosiers win their fifth in a row in the victory on LGBTQ+ Pride and Breast Cancer Awareness night, tying the longest conference win streak in the Teri Moren era.
The Hoosiers would open the game with a 14-10 advantage after the first quarter as Penn scored all six of her points in the opening frame. They would make a push at the Fighting Illini in the second quarter, outscoring them 21-13. After Illinois cut the lead down to two, Buss would score off the out of bounds play and a 3-pointer by Cahill stretched it back out to five, 21-16, with 6:56 remaining. Still keeping it close, back-to-back trips to the line from Cahill and Yeaney made it a six-point lead. The Hoosiers would go on to close the half on a 7-2 run including a buzzer beater by Cahill to make it 35-23 at the break.
Royster, who scored 17 of her 19 points in the second half, opened up the third quarter with the three buckets for Indiana including a 3-point play that put her team up 40-29 a little over three minutes into the quarter. The Illini would bring the deficit down to under double digits and got within six with 3:05 remaining but five-straight points from Royster would give IU a 49-39 lead after three complete.
Indiana would hold the Illini to just 31.6 percent from the floor in the fourth quarter, while shooting 62.5 percent of its own. The Hoosiers would get into the bonus with 5:40 remaining in the quarter and not look back as Buss and Royster combined at the line to put the game out of reach.
Head coach Teri Moren
"It was a great win. We accomplished what we set out to do about two weeks ago. We made the goal of being at home for a four-game stretch was to go 4-0 and we were able to accomplish that tonight. I'm really proud of our group. I thought their focus and their ability to keep (Alex) Wittinger quiet, particularly in the second half, really the second quarter. I don't think she got very many touches. Then in the second half I thought Amanda Cahill was really good, and the time that Kym (Royster) was in and she had to guard her (Wittinger). She is trying to do a great job with activity, anytime she caught it from our guards. Whether they were staying or foot-faking or just trying to crowd her as much as we could. Overall just a great win for us, and now it starts where we have to leave the confines of Assembly Hall and go back on the road."
With the win against Illinois, the Hoosiers improve to 40-30 in the all-time series history. Indiana has now won seven straight games against Illinois in the series.
The Hoosiers have won five consecutive games. It is their longest winning streak since winning seven in a row during the 2016-17 season. The last time the Hoosiers won five straight in Big Ten play was in the 2015-16 season.
Indiana shot 22-of-44 (50 percent) from the field for the game, including 5-of-8 (62.5 percent) in the fourth quarter.
Indiana limited Illinois to 0 second chance points and outrebounded Illinois 34-25.
Amanda Cahill led the Hoosiers with 20 points for her 12th career game scoring 20 or more points. Cahill connected on 6-of-10 from the field, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range. Cahill has now scored 1,690 career points.
Kym Royster scored in double-figures for the 15th time this season with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field. In her last three games she has scored 14, 17 and 19.
Tyra Buss scored 16 points and added six rebounds, six assists and two steals. Buss added to her Indiana women's basketball scoring record which now stands at 2,106. Buss moved into fourth on the Indiana all-time scoring list with men's and women combined.
Buss (518) is 16 assists away from breaking the Indiana career assist record.
Indiana hits the road for the Barn Burner Trophy game on Monday when it faces Purdue. Tipoff in Mackey Arena is set for 7 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network.