Women's Basketball
Game 16 Notes: RV/-- Illinois vs. RV/-- Michigan State

Amber Moore ranks 27th nationally in three-pointers made per game.
Amber Moore ranks 27th nationally in three-pointers made per game.

Jan. 11, 2013

 Game 15: RV/-- Illinois (9-6, 2-1) vs. RV/-- Michigan State (13-2, 1-1)
 When Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013 | 3 p.m. CT
 Location Champaign, Ill. | Assembly Hall (16,618)
 Tickets FREE
 TV Big Ten Network | BTN2Go
    Mike Wolf (play-by-play), Patricia Babcock McGraw (analyst), Kara Lentz (sideline)
 Radio WDWS AM-1400 (Champaign-Urbana), WDAN AM-1490 (Danville) & WFMB AM-1450 (Springfield) | Listen
 Live Stats Gametracker | Mobile Stats
 Printable Game Notes Illinois | Michigan State | Big Ten
 Video Pack the Hall Promo Video
 Season Stats Illinois | Michigan State | Big Ten
 Series History Michigan State leads 35-26
 Last Meeting Illinois 71, Michigan State 62 (OT) (Jan. 26, 2012, in East Lansing, Mich.)
 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. 8.5 2.7 3rd in B1G in assists per game (5.7)
G 42 Amber Moore 5-11 Jr. 13.0 4.4 4th in B1G in 3FG made per game (2.9)
G 22 Ivory Crawford 5-10 So. 13.4 4.9 Scoring up 6.8 ppg from 2011-12
G 24 Adrienne GodBold 5-11 Sr. 16.3 6.8 Had 20 points, 8 rebounds, 5 steals at Northwestern
F 00 Karisma Penn 6-2 Sr. 20.0 10.6 Back-to-back B1G Player of the Week (12/31, 1/7)

Illinois is...
...7-0 when opponent shoots under 40 percent
...5-0 when out-rebounding its opponent
...8-1 when scoring 70+ points
...8-1 when leading at halftime
...7-1 when shooting more FTs than its opponent
...5-1 when shooting 40 percent or better
...looking for its 1st 3-1 Big Ten start since 2005-06

Quick Hits
• Sunday's Game:
Illinois (9-6, 2-1) hosts Michigan State (13-2, 1-1) on Sunday in the annual "Pack the Hall" game at Assembly Hall. The Illini return home after winning consecutive Big Ten road games for the first time since 2003-04, having won at RV/#24 Ohio State and Northwestern on Sunday and Thursday, respectively. The win over the Buckeyes snapped OSU's 31-game home win streak and marked Illinois' first win in Columbus since 2001. The Illini have won three of their last four and five of their last seven games, including a 2-1 mark against teams ranked in at least one of the polls. Illinois is 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.

• Illini Receive Votes in AP Poll: Illinois collected four points in this week's Associated Press poll, marking the first time since Dec. 7, 2009, that the Illini have appeared in the "others receiving votes" portion of the AP poll. Illinois was last ranked by AP (No. 24) on Nov. 27, 2000.

• Penn Keeps Awards Coming: A week after she was named national player of the week by espnW and the USBWA, and Big Ten player of the week, senior forward Karisma Penn was named Big Ten player of the week on Jan. 7. She posted a career-high 34 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in Illinois' 79-73 win at Ohio State, and added 15 and 9, respectively, in a one-point overtime defeat to No. 14 Purdue on Jan. 2. She broke the Illinois record with 16 made free throws in 17 attempts against OSU and for the week, she shot 60 percent (15-of-25) from the floor. The week before, Penn scored a game-high 27 points and grabbed a career-best 19 rebounds to key Illinois' win over No. 6 Georgia. She also blocked two shots, becoming the Illini's career blocks record-holder.

• Illini Put Foes Under Pressure: Illinois has racheted up the defensive pressure lately, forcing 114 turnovers in its last four games (28.5 per game), and 88 in three Big Ten games (29.3 pg). The Illini lead the league with 17.7 steals per game during conference play and rank fourth in scoring defense (62.3 ppg) in Big Ten games, a marked improvement over their 12th-place standing in scoring defense in all games (67.3 ppg). Illinois leads the league and ranks 38th nationally in steals (11.9 per game) overall. The Illini recorded 24 steals, the most in a Big Ten game in school history, and forced 34 turnovers against Northwestern (1/10), caused 20 miscues at Ohio State (1/6), 34 against No. 14 Purdue (1/2) and 26 against No. 6 Georgia (12/28).

• Stealing the Spotlight: Four Illini players rank in the top 10 in steals per game in conference play, as Karisma Penn's 5.0 spg are tied for the Big Ten lead, Adrienne GodBold ranks third (4.0 spg), Alexis Smith is tied for sixth (3.3 spg) and Ivory Crawford is tied for ninth (3.0 spg).

• Turnaround in Progress: Illinois is 9-6 after winning just just 11 games last season and only nine games in 2010-11. Through 15 games last season, the Illini were 6-9 overall, 0-2 in the Big Ten. Illinois also started the conference season 0-7 before beating Michigan State on Jan. 26, 2012. The Orange and Blue are looking for their first 3-1 start to Big Ten play since 2005-06, when Illinois started 3-0 before losing eight straight games.

• Penn Dominates Late in Games: Karisma Penn has become a dominant force late in games recently, scoring 11 of Illinois' last 18 points against No. 6 Georgia and 18 of the last 26 Illini points in the 79-73 win at Ohio State. She also scored five of Illinois' last eight points in regulation before fouling out halfway through the overtime period in the 67-66 loss to No. 14 Purdue on Jan. 2.

• Illinois Gets It Done Down Low: The Illini have controlled games in the paint lately, outscoring their last four foes 132-98 in the post, an average of 33.0-24.5 per game. Illinois out-paced No. 6 Georgia 32-18 and outscored No. 14 Purdue 38-28.

• Illini Relish Underdog Role: Illinois has won two of its last three games against ranked opponents after beating AP-ranked No. 6 Georgia on Dec. 28 and Ohio State, who was No. 24 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, on Jan. 6. Between that pair of games, the Illini dropped a 67-66 overtime thriller to No. 14 Purdue on Jan. 2. Prior to the Georgia game, 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 AP-ranked opponents and 29-68 at home.

• RPI Jumps After Upset: The Illini's RPI, according to the official NCAA report released this week for the first time, jumped 10 spots from 82 to 72 as a result of Illinois' win at Ohio State on Jan. 6. That comes after the Illini made a significant RPI jump following the victory over Georgia on Dec. 28. According to RealTimeRPI.com, the Orange and Blue have faced one of the top schedules in the country, as Illinois' slate is rated No. 19 and third-best among Big Ten squads. Six of the Illini's Big Ten foes have RPI figures of 60 or better in the NCAA report.

• Offense Thrives Under Bollant: The Illini rank third in the Big Ten and 30th nationally in scoring, averaging 72.7 points per game. Through 15 games, the Orange and Blue are averaging 9.4 ppg more than last season's first 15 games scoring average of 63.3.

• Penn Does It All: Senior forward Karisma Penn leads the Big Ten in rebounding and blocked shots, ranks third in steals and fourth in scoring and field-goal percentage, making her the only player in the conference to rank in the top five in all five categories. Penn also is the only player in the country to average 20.0 points per game, 10.0 rebounds per game and 2.5 blocks per game. A career 13.9 ppg scorer, Penn is up to 20.0 ppg so far this year. For more on Penn's strong start to her final season, see page 5.

• 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, and ranks second in the league in free-throw percentage (.909) and minutes played (37.1 mpg). She also is among conference leaders (top 15) in scoring (17th) and three-point field-goal percentage (10th, .364). 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 four games this year, GodBold has shown why she earned Illinois' team MVP honors last year, scoring a game-high 20 points at Northwestern, recording her first career double-double against No. 14 Purdue (20 points, 11 rebounds), notching 14 points at Ohio State and scoring 11 points in 22 minutes in her debut against the Lady Bulldogs.

Scouting The Spartans
Michigan State holds a gaudy 13-2 overall record and a 1-1 Big Ten mark, having beaten Minnesota in its Big Ten opener and dropped a 76-55 defeat at No. 9 Penn State last Sunday. MSU had its first open date in the Big Ten schedule during the middle of this week.

• Michigan State currently stands No. 35 in RealTimeRPI's rankings with a schedule strength of 86. The Spartans' two losses have come to No. 19 Dayton and No. 9 Penn State, and they have five top-100 wins (Minnesota, N.C. State, Temple, Texas Tech and Virginia Tech).

• MSU started the season with eight straight wins before falling to Dayton, 60-53, on Dec. 8. The Spartans then won five in a row before losing to Penn State last Sunday.

• Michigan State ranks second in the nation in scoring defense (45.6 ppg) and third in field-goal percentage defense (.314). MSU also is No. 10 in turnovers per game (13.5), No. 14 in three-point defense (.243) and No. 19 in rebounding margin (+9.4 per game).

• The Spartans may be one of the most well-rounded teams in the nation as well, with Klarissa Bell leading the way at 11.9 points per game and five other players scoring at least 8.7 ppg. MSU also has six players averaging 4.6 rebounds per game or more, led by Courtney Schiffauer's 6.9 rpg.

• Michigan State appears to be quite disciplined, averaging only 13.5 turnovers per game, and commits only 12.8 fouls per game.

Michigan State Series History
Michigan State leads the all-time series with the Illini by a 35-26 margin after Illinois snapped a four-game losing streak with a 71-62 overtime win in East Lansing on Jan. 26, 2012. The teams have played very often of late, as they only met once each in the 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2011-12 campaigns. MSU has won six of the last eight meetings and 13 of the last 16. Illinois' last win in Champaign came by a 56-46 score on Feb. 22, 2007, but the teams didn't play in the Assembly Hall in 2010 or 2012. The Illini do lead the all-time series in Champaign by a 15-12 margin despite MSU winning seven of the last eight meetings on the UI campus dating back to 2002.

Last Meeting with the Spartans
Illinois got its first Big Ten win with a 71-62 overtime victory at Michigan State on Jan. 26, 2012, snapping a seven-game skid to start conference play. Adrienne GodBold corraled an offensive rebound and put it back to send the game to the extra period then scored the first basket in OT as Illinois closed the game on a 15-4 run. The Illini held MSU to 2-for-8 shooting and forced three Spartan turnovers in the extra session while making 3-of-5 from the field and 6-of-8 from the free-throw line in overtime.

Bollant Against the Spartans
Illinois head coach Matt Bollant recorded one of his most memorable wins while at Green Bay, leading the fifth-seeded Phoenix past fourth-seeded Michigan State, 65-56 in the 2011 NCAA Tournament second round to reach the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in school history. That was one of four Big Ten teams that Bollant's Phoenix beat in 2010-11, also topping Wisconsin, Minnesota and Penn State.

Last Time Out: Northwestern
Adrienne GodBold scored a game-high 20 points and Illinois forced 34 Northwestern turnovers to run away from the Wildcats, 65-47, at Welsh-Ryan Arena on Thursday. The Illini recorded 24 steals - a school record for a Big Ten game and the second-most in Illinois history - on the way to their second-straight conference road victory, something the Orange and Blue hadn't accomplished since 2003-04. Northwestern's 47 points are the fewest by an Illini opponent this season and its 19 first-half points also are a season-low by an Illinois foe. The Orange and Blue limited the 'Cats to 2-of-19 (10.5 percent) shooting from three-point range in the game and 30.8 percent overall from the floor.