INDIANAPOLIS - Lindsey Pulliam scored 21 points and fifth-seeded Northwestern used a lock-down first half to roll to a 67-42 win over 12th-seeded Illinois on Wednesday in the second round of the Big Ten Conference tournament.
The Wildcats limited the Illini to eight points in the first half to take a 30-point lead before coasting into Thursday’s quarterfinal matchup with second-seeded Michigan.
Illinois was 0 for 11 from 3-point range, 3 of 26 overall (11.5%) and had 15 turnovers in the first half, when Veronica Burton had 12 of her 15 points and Northwestern led 38-8.
Sydney Wood added 10 points for the Wildcats (14-7). Pulliam had games of 28, 19 and now 21 points in three wins over the Illini this season and has moved into third on Northwestern’s career-scoring list with 1,977.
Kennedi Myles scored 10 points for the Illini (5-18), who had a 25-15 scoring advantage in the third quarter, the only one where they reached double figures. Illinois finished 4 of 27 from 3-point range and shot 13 of 56 (23.2%) overall with 23 turnovers.
Northwestern scored the last eight points of the first quarter to lead 18-6 and the first nine of the second quarter. Illinois had two free throws in the second quarter on four attempts while missing its 11 field goals. The Illini missed their last 14 shots of the first half and first two of the third quarter before making 7 of 13.