Women's Basketball
Women's Basketball Game Notes at Indiana

 
Alexis Burke has scored in double figures in four of the last six nights.
Alexis Burke has scored in double figures in four of the last six nights.
 

Game 26 - Illinois (9-16, 3-9) at Indiana (5-19, 0-11)

Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012 // 1 p.m. CT // Assembly Hall (17,472) // Bloomington, Ind.

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On The Air

Radio: Live on fightingillini.com and tape delayed on WDWS AM-1400 (Dave Loane and Mike Koon)TV: BTN.com

The Series

Indiana leads the all-time series, 33-28. Last meeting: Indiana 59, Illinois 52; Feb. 10, 2011

The Coaches

Illinois: Jolette Law, 67-90 overall and at Illinois (fifth season)
Indiana: Felisha Legette-Jack, 140-158 overall (10th season) and 86-95 at Indiana (sixth season)

Illini Upset No. 10 Ohio State

Illinois is coming off a 66-65 victory over No. 10 Ohio State at Assembly Hall on Thursday. Here some nuggets from that game:
• The Illini posted its first victory against a top-10 team since Jan. 26, 2003, a 94-80 victory over No. 10 Minnesota. It was also Illinois' first win vs. a ranked opponent since March 7, 2008, a 64-58 victory over Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals.
Alexis Burke drove in for the game-winning shot with 3.2 seconds remaining. • The Illini trailed by as many as 12 at 56-44 with just under nine minutes remaining in the game.
• The loss was just the third for Ohio State on the season.
• Illinois allowed just six free-throw attempts by Ohio State and out-rebounded the Buckeyes 36-28, including a 16-7 advantage in offensive rebounds.
• The Illini trailed 63-58, but scored six straight points, the last two on a pair of free throws by Lydia McCully before Burke's game-winning layup.

QUICK HITS

Alexis Burke is playing some of the best basketball of her career. Burke has scored in double figures in four of her last five games with 12 points at Michigan State, 16 vs. Minnesota, 17 at Purdue and 15 vs. Ohio State. She has raised her average from 5.7 to 7.2 points per game in the process.
• In the last five contests, the Illini are shooting 70.6 percent from the free-throw line (60-85), including 81.3 percent (26-32) in the last five minutes of games. Amber Moore is 8-for-10 while Karisma Penn is 7-for-9 during those closing minutes.
• The Illini have four games remaining in the regular season. Those teams (Indiana, Minnesota, Northwestern and Wisconsin) are a combined 38-60 overall and 11-35 in the Big Ten.
• Both Penn and Lydia McCully played all 40 minutes in the victory over Ohio State. In the previous four games, Penn had averaged 24.5 minutes per game dealing with foul issues. McCully, meanwhile, only played 28 minutes at Purdue before fouling out with just two points.

CHANGING FORTUNES

After an array of last-second heartbreaks, the Illini have come out on the positive end of three straight down-to-the-wire games.

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.

Against Ohio State, the Illini led by as many as eight points in the first half and by five at halftime, but had to come back from 12 points down to claim the victory with a contested layup from Alexis Burke in the closing seconds.

GodBold On A Heavenly Roll

One of the major stories in the recent games has been the emergence of junior Adrienne GodBold as an offensive force.

In the last seven games, GodBold has scored 111 of her season's 211 points and has raised her season average from 5.9 points to 8.8 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 and an 8-for-12 out put against No. 10 Ohio State gives GodBold a 76.6 perent field-goal percentage in her last three games.

She has scored at least 16 points in five of the last six seven 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 seven games are a 62.1 percent field-goal percentage (41-66), 53.8 percent from the three-point arc (7-13), 75.8 percent from the free-throw line (22-29), 111 points (15.8 pg), 44 rebounds (6.2 pg), 15 assists, 6 blocks, and 18 steals.

OPPONENTS IN THE RANKINGS

Eight Illinois opponents appear in or are receiving votes in the current Associated Press Top -25. Among the top-25 are Illinois opponents Green Bay (9), Ohio State (10), Nebraska (13), Purdue (16), Penn State (28) and South Carolina (24), with California and Texas Tech also receiving votes. Illinois also has the eighth-highest strength of schedule according to Real Time RPI, tops of all 12 Big Ten teams.

MORE ON INDIANA

• The Hoosiers enter Sunday's contest at 5-19 overall and 0-11 in the Big Ten. They are being out-scored 72.1-52.7 in conference play. The Hoosiers have been idle since an 83-64 home loss to Iowa on Feb. 5.
• Indiana has wins over Murray State, Belmont, IUPUI Colorado State and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
• A total of 10 players have started for Indiana, paced by 22 by leading scorer Jasmine McGhee.
• Indiana leads the all-time series 33-28. The teams split meetings last year with the Illini winning 74-67 in Bloomington and Indiana prevailing 59-52 in Champaign.
• In the Illinos win, Amber Moore scored a career-high 27 points and was 7-of-12 from three-point range.

REAl-TIME RPI National Strength of Schedule

Here is a look at the toughest schedules in the nation according to Real-Time RPI. The Illini are the only Big Ten team in the nation ranking in the top-10 in terms of 2011-12 strength of schedule (8), while the next-highest league squad stands at No. 19 (Wisconsin) followed by Iowa (21) and Purdue (43).
Rank	Team		Strength of Sched.
1.	Tennessee		0.6767
2.	Kansas State	0.6466
3.	Texas A&M		0.6394
4.	Stanford		0.6030
5.	Baylor		0.6323
6.	Rutgers		0.6191
7.	Villanova		0.6144
8.	Illinois		0.6137
9.	Oklahoma		0.6089
10.	Georgia Tech	0.6057
11.	UCLA		0.6048
12.	Washington State	0.6035
13.	Stanford		0.6030
14.	Florida		0.6027
15.	Notre Dame	0.6027

NOTES ON GAME TIMES

The Feb. 20 game with Northwestern is a 6:30 p.m. contest, on the BTN, while the Feb. 26 match-up with Wisconsin will begin at 2 p.m.

BENCHMARK NUMBERS

• Illinois won at Michigan State for the first time since a 75-65 victory in East Lansing on Feb. 24, 2003.
• Illinois' 84 points against No. 10 Ohio State were the most against a Big Ten team in the Jolette Law era. It is also the most points scored against the Buckeyes this season.
• Illinois defeated Ohio State, 66-65 on Feb. 9. It marked the first Illinois win against a top-10 team since Jan. 26, 2003, a 94-80 victory over No. 10 Minnesota. It was also Illinois' first win against a ranked opponent since March 7, 2008, a 64-58 win over Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals.

Building momentum

The Illini have traditionally had better second halves to the conference season under Jolette Law. In 2008, after going 3-6 in the first half of the conference season, the Illini went 5-4 in the second half and then won 3-of-4 games in the Big Ten Tournament. In 2009, Illinois followed up an 0-for-9 first half by going 5-4 in the second half and 2-1 in the Big Ten Tournament. In 2010, Illinois went 3-6 in the first half and 4-5 in the second half, going 1-1 in the conference tournament. Last season, the Illini went 0-8 in the second half, but advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament with a pair of upset victories. This year, Illinois went 1-7 in the first half of the season and are 2-2 in the second half.

MAGRUM IN AND OUT OF THE LINE-UP

Kersten Magrum returned to the line-up against Michigan State after missing three games with concussion symptoms. Magrum scored 20 points against Wisconsin on Jan. 8, including 17 in the first half, before leaving the contest with 11 minutes to play. Magrum had eight points and three blocked shots in her first game back, and although she didn't start played 28 of a possible 45 minutes.

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.

Magrum missed the Minnesota, Purdue and Ohio State contests as her symptoms returned, but a return to the floor against Indiana is hopeful.

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.

CRAWFORD PROVIDES SCORING PUNCH

Ivory Crawford recorded her first double-double of her young career with 12 points and 10 rebounds vs. Nebraska on Jan. 29. Crawford had a successful week as a whole with seven assists, four steals, four blocks and 16 rebounds in games against the Cornhuskers and Michigan State.

McCully Moving Up Career Assists List

Lydia McCully has been able to find an open teammate in a position to shoot throughout her time with the Illini and took over sole possession of fifth all-time in assists as a result, with a pair against No. 21/22 Penn State on Jan. 19, breaking a tie with Tajua Catchings in the process. McCully added six in support of the winning effort against No. 10 Ohio State to reach 363 for her career.

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.	363	Lydia McCully	2008-

Your Newest 1,000-Point Club Member

Junior Karisma Penn is quickly climbing up several career charts, including becoming the 24th player in Illinois women's basketball history with 1,000 or more career points with 20-point performance on Nov. 24 against RV/#18 Green Bay. The Shaker Heights, Ohio, native enters the Ohio State contest with 1,272 career points, the 15th-most all-time, and also ranks 10th in Illini history in rebounds (692) and second in blocks (188).

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.	1,272	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.	692	Karisma Penn	2009-

Illinois' Career Blocked Shots List

	Blocks	Player 	Years
1.	231	Jenna Smith	2006-10
2.	188	Karisma Penn	2009-
3.	163	Lacey Simpson	2005-10

Moore Clutch From 3-Point Land

Amber Moore is currently alone in sixth place in program history for made three-pointers with 112. Moore needs two more to tie Allison Curtin (1998-2001) for fifth all-time. She has at least one three-pointer in 20 of the 25 games this season and multiple threes in 13 contests.

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.	112	Amber Moore	2009-

Close But...

Illinois has lost five of its Big Ten games by a combined 18 points, one of which needed overtime. Most recently, the Illini lost to preseason conference favorite Penn State, 71-65, in a game where the Illini led by as many as eight in the first half.

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).

REJECTIONS KEY DEFENSIVE SUCCESS

The Illini are third in the Big Ten in blocked shots at 5.2 per game with 131 through 25 contests. Individually within the conference, Karisma Penn is third in rejections as the junior averages 2.1 per contest.

Block Party One Of The Best In School History

Illinois had 12 blocked shots in its victory over Memphis on Nov. 15 - tied for the second most in a game in school history. Adrienne GodBold and Karisma Penn each recorded four rejections during the contest while Kersten Magrum and Taylor Tuck added a pair of blocks each as well. The record is 13, set on Jan. 27, 2011 vs. Penn State.

Barefoot For A Purpose

Illinois head coach Jolette Law coached in her bare feet during the Jan. 19 game with Penn State. She joined over 1,000 coaches from across the country going barefoot to raise awareness and funding to help put one million pairs of shoes on the feet of children through Samaritan's Feet.

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.

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