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Trio of freshman lead Illinois women to win in tournament

INDIANAPOLIS -- Ali Andrews had career highs with 24 points and six 3-pointers, leading three Illinois freshman who reached 20 points, and the No. 12-seeded Illini beat No. 13 seed Nebraska 79-70 on Wednesday in the Big Ten Tournament opener.

Petra Holesinska added a career-tying 21 points and Brandi Beasley 20 for Illinois (9-21), who play No. 5 seed Purdue on Thursday.

Trailing by five, Illinois outscored Nebraska 23-9 in the fourth quarter, taking the lead for good on Andrews' final 3-pointer with 5 1/2 minutes left.

Illinois snapped an 11-game losing streak, its previous win also coming against Nebraska on Jan. 15. The victory was the first for Illinois in the tournament since 2011.

Jessica Shepard had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Hannah Whitish 16 points for the Cornhuskers (7-22).

Illinois made 14 3-pointers and Nebraska 13 but the Illini were 17 of 22 from the free-throw line to 3 of 7 for the Cornhuskers. Nebraska also had 17 turnovers to Illinois' five.