INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Illinois forward Jenna Smith scored 16 points, and the Fighting Illini used an 18-3 closing run to beat fifth-seeded Michigan State 55-41 in the Big Ten tournament semifinals tonight (Saturday night).
The victory sends ninth-seeded Illinois (19-13) to their first championship game since 1999. The Illini are the lowest seed to ever play for the title and will face Purdue on Sunday.
Michigan State (19-13) was led by Kalisha Keane with 10 points and Allyssa DeHaan, who had eight.
Illinois shot just 31.5 percent from the field, and the game produced the second-lowest combined score in tourney history.
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