Karisma Penn had 23 points in the last meeting with Ohio State on Jan. 22.
Illinois will wear pink uniforms for the 7 p.m. game with 10th-ranked Ohio State. Fans who wear pink will be admitted for free and will have the chance to win one of five pairs of pink game shorts or a Jolette Law autographed basketball. In addition, breast cancer warriors and their families are invited to participate in the Tunnel of Hope prior to the game when the Illini take to the floor. Anyone wishing to participate should call Shanna Diller in the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics marketing office at 217-244-0062.
The Kay Yow Cancer Fund honors the memory of the legendary North Carolina State coach who won more than 700 games and waged a public battle against breast cancer for the final 22 years of her life before passing away on Jan. 24, 2009. For more information on the Play 4Kay initiative visit www.kayyow.com/Play4Kay
In the last six games, GodBold has scored 95 of her season's 195 points and has raised her season average from 5.9 points to 8.5 points per game. GodBold had a career-best 25 points vs. Purdue on Feb. 5, making 7 of 10 field goals, including 5 of 6 from the three-point arc. Adding an 8 for 9 performance against Minnesota on Feb. 2 gives GodBold a 78.9 perent field-goal percentage in her last two games.
She has scored at least 18 points in four of the last six games with 19 vs. Penn State, 18 points against Ohio State and Minnesota and 25 vs. Purdue. In one of the games in between, GodBold had nine points and 11 rebounds in the victory at Michigan State.
GodBold's numbers in the last six games are a 61.1 percent field-goal percentage (33-54), 58.3 percent from the three-point arc (7-12), 75.8 percent from the free-throw line (22-29), 95 points (15.8 pg), 40 rebounds (6.7 pg), 11 assists, 6 blocks, and 11 steals.
Illinois continued its recent dominance of Minnesota with a 72-67 victory over the Gophers on Feb. 2. The Illini have now won five straight against Minnesota and seven of its last nine against the Gophers.
Illinois has had its troubles from the line this year, but that has turned around in recent games. In the last four contests, the Illini are shooting 72.4 percent from the free-throw line (50-69), including 78.6 (22-28) in the last five minutes of games. Karisma Penn has also come through down the stretch. In the last five minutes of the last four games, Penn is 7-for-9 from the free-throw line.
Following the game against Ohio State, the Illini have four games remaining in the regular season. Those teams (Indiana, Minnesota, Northwestern and Wisconsin) are a combined 38-57 overall and 11-32 in the Big Ten.
After an array of last-second heartbreaks, the Illini have come out on the positive end of two straight down-to-the-wire games. Both victories over Michigan State and Minnesota followed a similar formula, build a big lead and then make big plays at the end.
Illinois led Michigan State 35-21 at halftime, withstood a 21-2 Spartan run at the start of the second half, and made big plays down the stretch and in overtime to post a 71-62 victory. Against Minnesota, the Illini scored the first five points of the second half to take a 38-23 lead only to see Minnesota come back to take the lead. After exchanging leads down the stretch, Illinois broke a 67-67 tie by scoring the final five points of the game.
After winning the Big Ten for six straight years from 2005-10, Ohio State is trying to regain its grip atop the conference. Four teams are within one game of first with just three weeks remaining in the season and the Buckeyes just 1/2 game out at 8-2. A tilt against first-place Purdue looms on Sunday in Columbus.
Ohio State boasts the first and third leading scorers in the conference in Tayler Hill (21.5) and Samantha Prahalis (19.6). The duo had huge games against Illinois in the first meeting with Prahalis scoring 28 points and Hill 26. With the game tied 76, Hill hit a three-pointer and Prahalis two straight treys in the next two possesions to extend the lead to 85-77.
Rank Team Strength of Sched. 1. Tennessee 0.6769 2. Kansas State 0.6432 3. Texas A&M 0.6369 4. Baylor 0.6362 5. Connecticut 0.6252 6. Rutgers 0.6195 7. Illinois 0.6147 8. Villanova 0.6131 9. Oklahoma 0.6106 10. Georgia Tech 0.6053 11. UCLA 0.6046 12. Notre Dame 0.6044 13. Stanford 0.6041 14. Washington State 0.6035 15. Florida 0.6030
Magrum scored in double figures in seven straight games, raising her season scoring average from 10.9 to 11.8. That includes a 19-point output against Alabama A&M and an 18-point game against Purdue.
She missed the Minnesota and Purdue games after symptoms returned and is hopeful to return against Ohio State.
After starting 15 games and averaging 4.3 points per contest as a freshman in 2009, Magrum missed all but three games last season with a stress fracture in her right foot. She had a career-best 24-point, 12-rebound performance against the Ducks on Nov. 18. Magrum also has a pair of double-doubles through the first 13 games, tallying 10 points and 10 rebounds against Memphis in additon to her numbers vs. Oregon. Magrum is also an 81.6 percent free-throw shooter.
Illinois' Career Assists List
Assists Player Years 1. 550 Jill Estey 1989-93 2. 507 Jenny Johnson 1984-88 3. 451 Lacey Simpson 2005-10 4. 391 Michelle Vossen 1980-84 5. 358 Lydia McCully 2008-
Illinois' Career Scoring List
Points Player Years 1. 2,160 Jenna Smith 2006-10 2. 2,089 Ashley Berggren 1994-98 3. 1,984 Jonelle Polk 1983-87 4. 1,906 Lisa Robinson 1978-82 5. 1,639 Angelina Williams 2001-05 -- 14. 1,322 Lynette Robinson 1978-82 15. 1,261 Karisma Penn 2009-
Illinois' Career Rebounding List
Rebs. Player Years 1. 1,217 Jenna Smith 2006-10 2. 1,014 Cindy Dallas 1998-04 3. 933 Jonelle Polk 1983-87 4. 900 Lacey Simpson 2005-10 5. 896 Lynnette Robinson 1978-82 -- 9. 779 Ashley Berggren 1994-98 10. 687 Karisma Penn 2009-
Illinois' Career Blocked Shots List
Blocks Player Years 1. 231 Jenna Smith 2006-10 2. 186 Karisma Penn 2009- 3. 163 Lacey Simpson 2005-10
Illinois' Career 3-Point Field Goals Made List
Made 3PT FG Player Years 1. 214 Lori Bjork 2005-08 2. 194 Krista Reinking 1994-98 3. 168 Mandy Cunningham 1990-94 4. 133 Melissa Parker 1996-00 5. 114 Allison Curtin 1998-01 6. 110 Amber Moore 2009-
It has been amazing how close Illinois is to having five more wins, four of which would come in the Big Ten. In those five games, the Illini have lost either in the last possession or overtime. Had the contests swung in favor of the Orange and Blue, they would stand at 12-10 overall rather than the current record of 7-15.
Against Northwestern on Jan. 16, Illinois' Amber Moore hit a three-pointer with 12 seconds remaining to tie the score. During the ensuing play, the Illini were called for a foul on Northwestern's Karly Roser, who made the second of two free throws to give Northwestern a 59-58 victory.
On Jan. 8, Wisconsin earned a narrow 70-67 victory after the Illini led for most of the game, including at 57-51. Illinois missed a last-second three-pointer that would have tied the game.
Prior to that contest, the Illini were victimized by a pair of late three-pointers. On Jan. 5 against Iowa, the Hawkeyes hadn't made a three-pointer all game, but got a trey from Kamille Wahlin with 10.9 seconds left to tie the score and send it to overtime. The Illini, who didn't trail for the last 23 minutes of regulation, fell 69-62 in overtime.
On Jan. 2, No. 20 Purdue needed a buzzer-beating Courtney Moses three-point shot to down the Illini, 64-63 at the Assembly Hall. Freshman Ivory Crawford hit two free throws with 25 seconds left to give the Illini a 62-61 lead and senior Lydia McCully made 1 of 2 from the charity stripe to make it a 63-61 lead with seven seconds remaining and force the desperation three.
After playing back-and-forth basketball over an 11-minute stretch in the second half, Illinois last led the game at Oregon, 72-71, before the Ducks scored a pair of free-throws for a one-point lead with 1:51 left. Oregon never led by more than three over the last two minutes, while Illinois got within one on a tip-in by Karisma Penn with 28 seconds remaining.
In the final contest of the San Juan Shootout, the Illini and Sun Devils competed in a back-and-forth contest throughout the majority of the game. With Illinois leading by one and time winding down, Arizona State needed a turn-around jumper with the defense in its face to secure the win, 51-50.
Last season, Illinois had five losses in which the opponent made a shot in the final 10 seconds with the game tied or Illinois leading - at Oakland (62-61), vs. Northwestern (69-66), vs. Penn State (67-65), at Northwestern (79-78) and vs. Michigan (58-55).
Samaritan's Feet, based in Charlotte, N.C., is a humanitarian non-profit relief organization dedicated to taking a life-changing message of hope and equipping the feet of impoverished children in the United States and around the world with shoes. The focus is on children from Africa, South America, the Caribbean and the U.S. The concept of asking coaches to coach barefoot began in 2007 when IUPUI coach Ron Hunter was asked to do so. Over 140,000 pairs of shoes and $30,000 were donated in just six weeks. This year, Law will be joining more than 1,000 coaches by going barefoot during a game to use her platform as coaches to help Samaritan's Feet reach the goal of distributing 10 million pairs of shoes to 10 million people in 10 years.