Game 20 Notes: Illinois vs. #24/25 Iowa
Jan. 30, 2013
Recapping the Win at Minnesota: In Monday's win at Minnesota, the Illini made 11 three-pointers, breaking the school record for treys in a Big Ten game, and totaled 23 assists, UI's most since tallying 28 against Cal Poly on Nov. 22, 2010. Karisma Penn and Adrienne Godbold each recorded a double-double, Taylor Tuck scored a career-high 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting (3-of-5 three-pointers) and Amber Moore hit 5-of-10 three-pointers as part of her 20 points.
Turnaround in Progress: With 11 wins so far this season, the Illini have matched last season's win total and surpassed the program's nine victories in 2010-11. Through 19 games last season, the Illini were 6-13 overall, 0-6 in the Big Ten. Illinois started the 2011-12 conference season 0-7 before beating Michigan State on Jan. 26, 2012. The Illini didn't get their fourth Big Ten win until Feb. 12 and finished 5-11 in conference play. The last time the Illini won four Big Ten games before February was in 2009-10, when they went 4-6 in December and January.
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. The loss was a 67-66 overtime thriller to No. 14 Purdue on Jan. 2. Illinois is 42-168 all-time against AP-ranked opponents and 29-68 at home.
Illini Put Foes Under Pressure: Illinois has racheted up the defensive pressure lately, forcing 204 turnovers in its last eight games (25.5 per game), and 178 in seven Big Ten games (25.4 pg). The Illini lead the league with 15.3 steals per game during conference play, and Illinois leads the league and ranks 21st nationally in steals (12.2 per game) overall. The Illini recorded 24 steals, the most in a Big Ten game in school history, and forced 34 turnovers against Northwestern on Jan 10. For more on Illinois' recent success in turning opponents over, see page 5.
Stealing the Spotlight: Four Illini players rank in the top 10 in steals per game in conference play, as Karisma Penn ranks second (3.9 spg), Adrienne Godbold is fifth (3.1 spg), Ivory Crawford is sixth (3.0 spg) and Alexis Smith is tied for ninth (2.4 spg).
Illini `Trey-mendous' from Deep: Illinois radio play-by-play man Dave Loane has been using his signature "trey-mendous" call quite a bit this season, as the Fighting Illini rank third in the Big Ten in three-pointers made per game (6.0) and have made 10 or more treys three times this season. The Orange and Blue drained 11 threes in the season-opener against Evansville, tying the second-most in a game in school history and the most by an Illinois team in nearly nine years. The Illini broke the school record for threes in a Big Ten game with 11 at Minnesota on Jan. 28 and also hit 10 treys against Illinois State on Dec. 21.
Road Warriors: The Illini have won four straight Big Ten road games (Ohio State, 1/6; Northwestern, 1/10; Nebraska, 1/17; Minnesota, 1/28), marking the first time since 2001 that Illinois has accomplished the feat. Like this season, the Illini also won their first four conference road contests in 2001. It also has been since 2001 that the Illini have won four or more Big Ten road games in an entire conference season, as that squad won five. Overall, the Orange and Blue are 5-1 this season in true road games.
GodBold Shows She Was UI's Missing Piece: After missing the first semester for academic reasons, senior guard Adrienne Godbold has been a force. She poured in a career-high 28 points against Michigan State on Jan. 13, scored 21 against Northwestern on Jan. 20 and added 18 at Minnesota on Jan. 28. She has scored in double digits in all eight games she has played, including four 20-point efforts. In Big Ten play, GodBold ranks third in the league with 20.0 points per game.
Illinois Gets It Done Down Low: Despite generally being out-sized, the Illini have held their own in the paint lately, outscoring their last eight foes 240-217 in the post, an average of 30.0-27.1 per game. Illinois out-paced No. 6 Georgia 32-18 and outscored No. 14 Purdue 38-28. The Illini have outscored five of their last eight foes in the paint.
RPI On Solid Footing: The Illini's RPI, according to WarrenNolan.com, stands at No. 61 and the Orange and Blue have faced one of the top schedules in the country, as Illinois' slate is rated No. 28. Six of the Illini's Big Ten foes have RPI figures in the top 40, while Minnesota is No. 70 and Ohio State is No. 74.
Offense Thrives Under Bollant: The Illini rank second in the Big Ten and 22nd nationally in scoring, averaging 72.4 points per game. Illinois raised its scoring average an entire point per game with a 91-point performance at Minnesota on Monday. Through 19 games, the Orange and Blue are averaging 9.2 ppg more than last season's first 19 games scoring average of 63.2.
Penn Does It All: Senior forward Karisma Penn leads the Big Ten in rebounding and blocked shots, ranks third in steals, fourth in scoring and sixth in field-goal percentage, making her the only player in the conference to rank in the top six in all five categories. Penn also is the only player in the country to average 18.0 points per game, 10.0 rebounds per game and 2.0 blocks per game. A career 13.9 ppg scorer, Penn is up to 18.7 ppg so far this year.
Moore is Better: Junior guard Amber Moore also has increased her productivity under first-year head coach Matt Bollant, averaging 12.8 points per game after entering the season with a career average of 9.2 ppg. Moore is averaging 2.68 three-point field goals per game, third-best in the Big Ten, and Illinois is 8-1 when she makes three or more triples in a game. Moore also ranks third in the league in free-throw percentage (.907) and second in minutes played (36.9 mpg), and is among conference leaders in scoring (16th) and three-point field-goal percentage (11th, .354).
Scouting The Hawkeyes
Iowa opened the year with three straight wins before losing three of five games around Thanksgiving. But the Hawks rattled off seven straight wins from Dec. 1-Jan. 3.
The Hawkeyes are No. 17 in WarrenNolan.com's RPI rankings and have a schedule strength of 11, the best schedule in the Big Ten. Iowa is 10-5 against RPI Top 100 teams, 4-4 against teams in the top 50.
Iowa leads the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.0:1), and ranks second in the Big Ten in assists (16.3 per game) and blocked shots (5.7 per game). The Hawkeyes rank fourth in the league in three-pointers made per game (5.6), fourth in three-point percentage (.343), field-goal defense (.354) and three-point field-goal defense (.274).
Senior Morgan Johnson is the Big Ten's active career leading rebounder, ranks eighth in scoring (15.7 ppg) and rebounding (7.5 rpg) and is third in field-goal percentage (.539). Senior Jaime Printy is the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week and is 13th in the Big Ten in scoring at 14.2 ppg.
Iowa Series History
Last Meeting with the Hawkeyes
Last Time Out: Minnesota