CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Karisma Penn had 27 points and 19 rebounds, and Illinois sent Georgia to its first loss of the season with a 70-59 victory over the No. 6 Lady Bulldogs on Friday night.
Penn scored 13 points and Georgia turned the ball over 10 times to help the Illini (7-5) jump out to a 31-13 lead. Penn also had 11 points during a 13-5 run in the second half that gave Illinois a 65-57 advantage after Georgia (12-1) had tied it at 52.
Guard Adrienne GodBold, playing her first game of the season after regaining her eligibility, and Amber Moore added 11 points apiece for Illinois, which won for the second straight time against a ranked team after losing its previous 20 to Top 25 opponents.
Jasmine James and Khaalidah Miller each scored 17 points for the Lady Bulldogs.
Illinois hadn’t beaten a team ranked in the top six since a win over then-No. 5 Georgia on Jan. 2, 2000. The Lady Bulldogs came in as one of the nation’s seven undefeated teams with a 28.1-point average margin of victory.
Georgia rallied behind Miller and some balanced scoring. Miller sank two 3-pointers and scored 10 points in a late first-half run to pull Georgia to 36-29 at halftime. Miller drilled another 3 to get Georgia to 52-50 and James hit two free throws on the next possession to tie it 52-all with 7:09 left.
Penn stepped up at that point for the Illini, converting a pair of three-point plays and scoring 11 points over the next four minutes.
Georgia was seeking its fifth 13-0 start in 34 seasons under coach Andy Landers, who notched his 800th career win at the school Dec. 19. The Lady Bulldogs were picked to finish second in the SEC and had been 25-8 all-time against Big Ten opponents.
Jasmine Hassell scored 13 points for Georgia.