Women's Basketball
Game 14 Notes: Illinois at RV/#24 Ohio State

 
Ivory Crawford is averaging 14.7 points per game this season, up 8.1 ppg from last year.
Ivory Crawford is averaging 14.7 points per game this season, up 8.1 ppg from last year.
 

Jan. 4, 2013

 Game 14: Illinois (7-6, 0-1) vs. RV/#24 Ohio State (10-4, 0-1)
 When Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013 | 1 p.m. CT
 Location Columbus, Ohio | Value City Arena (19,500)
 Tickets $14.75 | Purchase
 Streaming Video BTDN on Fighting Illini All-Access | All-Access Sign-up
 Radio WDWS AM-1400 (Champaign-Urbana) & WDAN AM-1490 | Listen
 Live Stats Gametracker
 Printable Game Notes Illinois | Ohio State | Big Ten
 Season Stats Illinois | Ohio State | Big Ten
 Series History Ohio State leads 44-18
 Last Meeting Illinois 66, #10 Ohio State 65 (Feb. 9, 2012, in Champaign, Ill.)
 Streak Won 1
 Social Media @IlliniWBB   |  #Illini   |  Facebook | YouTube

 Illinois Probable Starters
Pos. No. Name Ht. Cl. PPG RPG Note
G 23 Alexis Smith 5-9 So. 8.7 2.9 3rd in B1G in assists per game (5.8)
G 42 Amber Moore 5-11 Jr. 13.0 4.5 4th in B1G in 3FG made per game (3.0)
G 22 Ivory Crawford 5-10 So. 14.7 5.3 Scoring up 8.1 ppg from 2011-12
G 24 Adrienne GodBold 5-11 Sr. 15.5 7.0 Had 1st career double-double vs. PUR (20 p, 11 r)
F 00 Karisma Penn 6-2 Sr. 19.5 10.7 Reigning USBWA & espnW national player of the week

Illinois is...
...7-1 when leading at halftime
...5-2 in day games
...4-1 following a loss
...4-1 when shooting 40 percent or better
...6-0 when opponent shoots under 40 percent
...Playing its first road game since Dec. 9

Quick Hits
• Sunday's Game:
Illinois (7-6, 0-1) travels to Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday to face Ohio State (10-4, 0-1), which is receiving votes in the Associated Press poll and ranked No. 24 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Illini are coming off a nail-biting overtime defeat at the hands of No. 14 Purdue on Wednesday, as the Boilers' Courtney Moses put back an offensive board with 6.2 seconds remaining and Illinois' last-second attempt rimmed out. The Illini have won three of their last five games but are in the midst of a stretch where five of six games (12/28-1/17) are against teams ranked or receiving votes in the Associated Press poll.

• Penn Hauls in Awards: Senior forward Karisma Penn was named national player of the week by espnW and the USBWA, and Big Ten player of the week after her standout performance against No. 6 Georgia on Dec. 28. Penn scored a game-high 27 points and grabbed a career-best 19 rebounds to key Illinois' win. She also blocked two shots, becoming the Illini's career blocks record-holder. Penn scored 13 of Illinois' first 31 points in the game and 11 of the last 18.

• Illini Relish Underdog Role: Illinois has won two of its last three games against AP-ranked opponents after beating No. 6 Georgia on Dec. 28. Prior to that, the Illini's most recent test against a ranked foe was when Illinois topped No. 10 Ohio State, 66-65, on Feb. 9, 2012, in Champaign. That win snapped a 20-game losing streak to ranked foes that dated back to 2008. Illinois is 42-168 all-time against ranked opponents and 29-68 at home.

• Reliving the Win Over #6 Georgia: The Illini jumped out to a 31-13 lead against the Lady Bulldogs and used a 13-5 run in the second half that turned a tie game into a 65-52 Illinois advantage with 3:20 remaining. The Orange and Blue forced 26 turnovers and outscored Georgia 32-18 in the paint while out-rebounding the Lady Bulldogs 42-41. The key was Illinois' defense in the second half, holding Georgia to 30 points on 29 percent shooting after halftime.

• RPI Jumps After Upset: The Illini's RPI, according to RealTimeRPI.com, jumped nearly 30 spots from 113 to 85 as a result of Illinois' win over Georgia on Dec. 28. The Orange and Blue also have faced one of the top schedules in the country, as Illinois' slate is rated No. 22, a number that jumped 11 spots after the Illini's loss to Purdue. Both of those figures likely will continue to rise, as seven of the Illini's Big Ten foes have RPI figures of 60 or better.

• Offense Thrives Under Bollant: The Illini rank third in the Big Ten in scoring (through games of Jan. 3), averaging 72.8 points per game, and also rank 33rd nationally (as of Dec. 31). Through 13 games, the Orange and Blue are averaging 8.5 ppg more than last season's first 13 games scoring average of 64.3.

• Stealing Attention: Illinois also ranks among the Big Ten leaders in steals, as its 10.9 thefts per game stand second in the conference. That is reflective of head coach Matt Bollant's emphasis on defense, as the Illini are averaging 2.4 spg more per game than through the first 13 games of last season. That also has helped the Illini in turnover margin as they stand second in the Big Ten at plus-3.4 per game.

• Penn Does It All: Senior forward Karisma Penn leads the Big Ten in rebounding and blocked shots, ranks fourth in scoring and field-goal percentage, and seventh in steals, making her the only player in the conference to rank in the top 10 in all five categories. Penn also is the only player in the country to average 19.5 points per game, 10.5 rebounds per game and 2.5 blocks per game. A career 13.9 ppg scorer, Penn is up to 19.5 ppg so far this year. For more on Penn's strong start to her final season, see page 4.

• Moore is Better: Junior guard Amber Moore also has increased her productivity under first-year head coach Matt Bollant, averaging 13.0 points per game after entering the season with a career average of 9.2 ppg. Moore is averaging 2.9 three-point field goals per game, fourth-best in the Big Ten, leads the league in minutes played (37.0 mpg) and ranks seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5:1). She also is among conference leaders (top 15) in scoring and assists. For more on her strong play this season, see page 6.

• GodBold Returns to Action: Senior guard Adrienne GodBold made her season debut against No. 6 Georgia on Dec. 28 after missing the first half of the season for academic reasons. In two games this year, GodBold has shown why she earned Illinois' team MVP honors last year, recording her first career double-double against No. 14 Purdue (20 points, 11 rebounds) and scoring 11 points in 22 minutes in her debut against the Lady Bulldogs.

Scouting The Buckeyes
Ohio State returns to the friendly confines of Value City Arena on Sunday after dropping its Big Ten opener at Iowa, 77-71 in overtime, on Thursday.

• The Buckeyes have won a school-record 31 consecutive home games, dating back to the 2010-11 season, the second-longest active streak in the nation behind Baylor's 46 straight home wins. OSU's last loss in Columbus was to Northwestern on Feb. 6, 2011.

• Ohio State stands No. 59 in the latest RPI rankings from RealTimeRPI.com, with a schedule strength of 109. The Buckeyes have beaten only one team with an RPI better than 100 in then-No. 68 Gonzaga, which OSU defeated 65-60 in Spokane, Wash.

• OSU is a force defensively, ranking third in the Big Ten and 23rd nationally in scoring defense at 51.4 points per game allowed and outscoring opponents by an average of 18.2 points per game. Only two teams (Gonzaga, 60; Washington State, 62) have topped 60 points against the Buckeyes this year, and the Zags' 45.5 percent field-goal shooting is the best shooting performance by an OSU opponent this season.

• On the other end, the Bucks rank fourth in the nation in field-goal percentage at .481, leading the Big Ten by 12 percentage points over second-place Michigan. OSU has six regulars who are shooting better than 45 percent on the season.

• OSU guard Tayler Hill leads the way offensively for the Buckeyes, averaging 20.4 points per game, third-best in the Big Ten. She is coming off a career night at Iowa on Thursday, where she scored a career-high 34 points, including four three-pointers.

Ohio State Series History
The Buckeyes lead the all-time series with the Illini by a 44-18 margin - and 23-4 in Columbus - but Illinois won the teams' most recent meeting, 66-65, in Champaign on Feb. 9, 2012, when Alexis Burke sank a layup with 3.2 seconds left on the clock. OSU notched a 96-84 win in Columbus on Jan. 22, 2012. The Buckeyes have won eight of the last nine meetings and 14 of the last 17 dating back to Feb. 22, 2004. Illinois' last win in Columbus came by a 75-73 score on Jan. 9, 2001.

Last Meeting with the Buckeyes
Alexis Burke's driving layup with 3.2 seconds remaining capped a 12-point comeback and a 66-65 victory over No. 10 Ohio State at the Assembly Hall on Feb. 9, 2012. The win marked the first for Illinois against a ranked team since defeating the Buckeyes in the 2008 Big Ten Tournament and the first over a top-10 team since beating No. 10 Minnesota in 2003. Adrienne GodBold led the way for the Illini with 16 points on 8-of-12 shooting, while Burke added 15. Lydia McCully scored 12 and Karisma Penn added 11.

Last Time Out: #14 Purdue
Senior Adrienne GodBold recorded her first career double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds, but the Illini missed two free throws in overtime and Kersten Magrum's runner in the lane wouldn't fall as No. 14 Purdue escaped Assembly Hall with a 67-66 win on Wednesday, Jan. 2. Purdue's Courtney Moses sank a put-back layup with 6.2 seconds remaining for the decisive bucket, the second-straight time she has hit a game-winning shot in Champaign.

Illinois outscored the Boilers 38-28 in the paint and held a 28-8 advantage scoring off turnovers, forcing a season-high 34 miscues by Purdue. The Illini led by as many as eight, 49-41 at the 11:14 mark of the second half, after hitting nine of their first 12 shots after halftime. But Purdue used a 13-0 run over 5:09 to grab a 56-50 lead. Illinois clamped down defensively, though, holding the Boilers to only one field goal and forcing two turnovers over the final three minutes of regulation.

HEADLINES