Illinois Women's Basketball Big Ten Tournament Notes
2012 Big Ten TournamentMarch 1-4 // Banker's Life Fieldhouse (18,345) // Indianapolis, Ind.
Game 1 // March 1 // 10:30 a.m. CT // No. 7 Michigan (19-10, 8-8) vs. No. 10 Illinois (11-18, 5-11)
On The Air (Illinois Games)Television:
March 1-2 - Big Ten Network (Eric Collins, Mary Murhpy and Lisa Byington)
March 3 - Big Ten Network (Tom Hart, Mary Murphy and Lisa Byington)
March 4 - ESPN2 (Dave O'Brien and Stephanie White)
Radio: WDWS-AM 1400 and online at fightingillini.com (pay), (Dave Loane and Mike Koon)
Live Stats: fightingillini.com Gametracker
Illinois Head Coach: Jolette Law, 69-92 overall and at Illinois (fifth season)
ILLINOIS HISTORY IN THE BIG TEN TOURNAMENTIllinois has an overall record of 17-17 and is 7-4 under Law in Big Ten Tournament play. The Illini have advanced to the title game three times, in 1997, '99 and 2008, and have reached the semifinal round six times - in 1997, '99, '00, '01, '08 and '11. After three straight first round losses from 2002-04, Illinois has advanced to at least the quarterfinals in seven consecutive seasons.
The Illini have made plenty of noise as an underdog in tournament action. In 2001, the sixth-seeded Illini downed No. 3 Wisconsin and in 2008 the ninth-seeded Orange and Blue topped No. 8 Wisconsin, No. 1 Ohio State and No. 5 Michigan State en route to the title game. In 2009, a ninth-seeded Illinois squad topped No. 8 Penn State in first round and then in 2010 the Illini, seeded ninth for the third straight season, upset No. 8 Indiana in opening round action. In 2011, the No. 11 seed Illinois bested No. 6 Wisconsin in the first round and No. 3 Michigan in the quarterfinals.
Illinois tournament advancement...
A Look Back at The 2011 Big Ten Tourney RunEntering the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 11 seed after a disappointing 2-14 conference record, the Fighting Illini hoped to replicate their magical 2008 run to the title game when they were seeded ninth. While last year's Illinois team didn't repeat that feat, it did make a bit of history of its own by becoming the first No. 11 seed to advance to the semifinals. The Orange and Blue upset No. 6 seed Wisconsin and No. 3 seed Michigan in dominant fashion, never trailing en route to the semis. That's where their run ended against the second-seeded Lady Lions of Penn State.
First Round vs. Wisconsin: No. 11 seed Illinois improved to 6-3 in the conference tournament since Law arrived in 2007-08 with a 63-56 upset win over No. 6 seed Wisconsin. Illinois never trailed in the game and led by as many as 16 in the second half, but the veteran Badgers clawed back to within three in the final minutes. With the Illini leading 59-56 with 40 seconds left, the defense forced a key turnover and Lydia McCully nailed four free throws in the final 27 seconds to put the game away. Centrese McGee picked a good time for her first career double-double as the 5-8 guard finished with 12 points and collected a career-high and game-high 13 rebounds.
Quarterfinals vs. Michigan: The Fighting Illini became the first No. 11 seed to advance to the semifinals of the tournament with a 55-47 win over No. 3 seed Michigan at Conseco Fieldhouse. The Orange and Blue never trailed in the game and led by as many as 24 points in the second half before Michigan tightened things up a bit at the end. While Centrese McGee and Lydia McCully led the way in victory over Wisconsin, it was sophomore star Karisma Penn and Amber Moore who stepped up big against the Wolverines. Moore hit four first-half threes and scored all 14 of her points before the break as the Illini pulled out to a 37-16 halftime lead. Penn had her Big Ten-leading 17th double-double of the season with game-highs of 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Semifinals vs. Penn State: The Orange and Blue's Cinderella run in the Big Ten Tournament came to a close with a 79-65 loss to No. 2 seed Penn State in the semifinals. The 11th-seeded Illini were within three points of tying midway through the second half, but the Lady Lions pulled away down the stretch with a 13-0 run to end Illinois' season. Amber Moore hit five three-pointers, including one that pulled the Illini within one just before the halftime buzzer, and led Illinois with 19 points. Adrienne GodBold had 16 points and three steals, while Karisma Penn and Lydia McCully each added 11 points for the Orange and Blue. Penn pulled down 10 rebounds to go along with her 11 points, her 18th double-double of the season, and also tied the Illinois Big Ten Tournament record with five blocks.
Illini Big Ten Tournament Notes Illinois is 7-4 in the Big Ten Tournament over the last four seasons since Jolette Law took over as head coach, despite being the lower seed in all 11 games.
Illinois has advanced to at least the quarterfinals in seven consecutive years.
The Illini never trailed in upset wins over No. 6 seed Wisconsin and No. 3 seed Michigan during the first two rounds of the most recent tournament.
Karisma Penn tied the Illinois single-game Big Ten Tournament record with five blocks against Penn State in the 2011 semifinals.
Lydia McCully tied the Illinois single-game Big Ten Tournament record with seven assists against Penn State in the 2011 semifinals. Her 12 assists over the three games are the second-most in a single tournament.
ILLINI OPEN TOURNAMENT VS. MICHIGAN Illinois opens Big Ten Tournament play vs. Michigan on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. CT. The Illini defeated the Wolverines, 55-47 in last year's quarterfinals, the second win in five tries against Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament.
Michigan defeated Illinois, 70-50, in the Big Ten season opener on Dec. 30 at the Assembly Hall. Kersten Magrum led the Illini with 19 points and eight rebounds while making 9-of-11 shots from the field. Karisma Penn had a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Carmen Reynolds led four Michigan players in double figures with 16 points.
Illinois leads the all-time series between the teams, 40-26. Michigan has won six of the last seven meetings after the Illini won seven straight from Dec. 30, 2004- Feb. 4, 2008. Illinois is 2-3 all-time vs. the Wolverines at the Big Ten Tournament.
GodBold, Penn Honored by Big TenIllinois junior guard Adrienne GodBold has been named the Big Ten's Sixth Player of the Year as voted by the conference's coaches while classmate Karisma Penn earned third team All-Big Ten accolades by the coaches and media. GodBold, also named to the Big Ten's All-Defensive Team, is the first Illini to win Sixth Player of the Year since the award's inception in 2006 and the first Illini to claim one of the league's special honors since Ashley Berggren was named Player of the Year in 1997.
In the last 11 games, GodBold is averaging 15.0 points, 5.4 boards and 2.8 steals per game while shooting 56.4 percent from the field (62-of-110) and 79.5 percent (31-of-39) from the free-throw line. She has raised her scoring average from 5.9 to 9.5 points per game for the season while increasing her average to 11.8 points per game in Big Ten play in that span. In conference-only games, GodBold ranks third in field goal percentage (.522), sixth in steals (2.3) and 15th in blocked shots (0.8).
Overall, she ranks 10th in steals (1.9) and 14th in the league in blocked shots (1.0). GodBold scored 25 points at Purdue and 23 in the season finale at Wisconsin, with four other games of 16 points or better in league play.
Penn leads the Illini and ranks 15th in the Big Ten in scoring at 13.6 points per game while also ranking third in the conference in blocked shots (2.1), fourth in field-goal percentage (.486) and sixth in rebounding (7.2) in overall games. She is steadily moving up several Illinois career statistical categories, ranking second in blocked shots (196), 10th in rebounds (715) and 14th in scoring (1,322) in Illinois history. She scored a season-high 26 points in a victory over Memphis and had 23-point games at Ohio State and Indiana. In that win over the Hoosiers, Penn also tallied six blocks and six steals. Last year, Penn earned second-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and third team honors by the media.
Senior Lydia McCully represented Illinois on the league's Sportsmanship team. McCully has started all but four games during the last four seasons for Illinois and ranks fifth on the school's all-time career assists list with 376.
Amber Moore's BIG GAME VS. NORTHWESTERNAmber Moore had a career performance of 31 points in a 69-57 victory over Northwestern on Feb. 20. Moore had 17 points in the first half and made 10-of-14 field goals for the game, including a 5-of-7 effort from three-point range. The 31 points eclipsed her previous career best of 27 she had at Indiana on Jan. 13, 2010, where Moore made seven treys. Moore's big game marked the first 30-point performance by an Illini since Karisma Penn scored 33 points vs. Michigan State on Feb. 19, 2011.
Moore Clutch From 3-Point LandAmber Moore owns 121 made threes in her career. She has at least one three-pointer in 25 of the 29 games this season and multiple threes in 15 contests. Moore also has 54 three-pointers on the season, which is tied for seventh on the Illinois single-season list.
Illinois' Career 3-Point Field Goals Made List
3FG Player Years 1. 214 Lori Bjork 2005-08 2. 194 Krista Reinking 1994-98 3. 168 M. Cunningham 1990-94 4. 133 Melissa Parker 1996-00 5. 121 Amber Moore 2009-
Illinois' Season 3-Point Field Goals Made List
3FG Player Year 1. 84 Lori Bjork 2006-07 2. 77 Lori Bjork 2007-08 3. 74 Krista Reinking 1995-96 4. 66 Melissa Parker 1998-99 5. 65 Amber Moore 2010-11 6. 57 M. Cunningham 1990-91 7. 54 Amber Moore 2011-12 8. 53 Lori Bjork 2005-06 9. 52 Aminata Yanni 2002-03 10. 48 Katie Coleman 1996-97
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 vs. No. 10 Ohio State were the most against a Big Ten team in the Jolette Law era and the most scored against the Buckeyes this season.
Illinois defeated Ohio State, 66-65 on Feb. 9. It marked the first Illinois win vs. 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. The Illini won back-to-back conference games for the first time since defeating Penn State and Wisconsin on Dec. 31 and Jan. 3, 2009-10.
DEFENSIVE-MINDED ILLINI Illinois is the only team in the conference with three different players among the top 10 in steals during Big Ten play -- Adrienne GodBold (6th), Lydia McCully (8th) and Karisma Penn (9th).
Only four different players are in the top 15 in the conference in both blocked shots and steals, Illinois' Karisma Penn, third in blocks (1.9) and ninth in steals (2.0) and Adrienne GodBold, sixth in steals (2.3) and 15th in blocks (0.8); Michigan State's Lykendra Johnson, seventh in steals (2.2) and 12th in blocks (0.9); and Northwestern's Kendall Hackney, ninth in blocks (1.1) and 13th in steals (1.4).
Illinois leads the conference in steals (10.3) and ranks second in blocks (5.1) in Big Ten only games.
Along with Penn State, Illinois has allowed the fewest three-point shots in Big Ten play (65).
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.
CRAWFORD PROVIDES SCORING PUNCHIvory 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.
Building momentumThe 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 Big Ten season, the Illini went 5-4 down the stretch and then won 3-of-4 games in the Big Ten Tournament.
In 2009, Illinois followed up an 0-for-9 start 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 Big Ten Tournament. In 2011, 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 4-4 in the second half.
McCully Moving Up Career Assists ListLydia McCully has found 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 four against Northwestern on Feb. 20 to reach 376 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. 382 Lydia McCully 2008-
MAGRUM IN AND OUT OF THE LINE-UPKersten 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 then missed six contests as her symptoms returned, but returned to the floor at Wisconsin, scoring seven points and grabbing four rebounds. 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.
Your Newest 1,000-Point Club MemberKarisma 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 Wisconsin contest with 1,322 career points, the 15th-most all-time, and also ranks 10th in Illini history in rebounds (715) and second in blocks (196).
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 A. Williams 2001-05 6. 1,536 M. Cunningham 1990-94 7. 1,529 Allison Curtin 1998-01 8. 1,526 Kendra Gantt 1981-85 9. 1,516 Sarah Sharp 1987-91 10. 1,502 Tauja Catchings 1996-00 11. 1,382 T. Guthrie 2001-05 12. 1,373 Kris Dupps 1991-95 13. 1,346 Cindy Dallas 1998-04 14. 1,322 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 L. Robinson 1978-82 6. 825 Tauja Catchings 1997-00 7. 823 Kris Dupps 1991-95 8. 803 Kendra Gantt 1981-85 9. 779 Ashley Berggren 1994-98 10. 715 Karisma Penn 2009-
Illinois' Career Blocked Shots List
Blocks Player Years 1. 231 Jenna Smith 2006-10 2. 196 Karisma Penn 2009- 3. 163 Lacey Simpson 2005-10
PENN EARNS BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE WEEKIllinois forward Karisma Penn was named co-Big Ten Player of the Week on Feb. 14, sharing the honor witIowa's Samantha Logic.
Penn helped Illinois to wins over No. 10 Ohio State and Indiana, while averaging 17.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.0 blocks, 4.0 steals and 3.0 assists on the week. She poured in 23 points and chipped in seven rebounds, six blocks and six steals in the win over the Hoosiers, playing all 40 minutes and 11 points, five rebounds, two blocks and two steals in the upset of Ohio State. This is Penn's fourth career Big Ten Player of the Week honor.
GodBold On A Heavenly RollOne of the major stories in the recent games has been the emergence of junior Adrienne GodBold as an offensive force.
In the last 11 games, GodBold has scored 150 points and raised her season average from 5.9 to 9.5 points per game. GodBold is averaging 11.8 points per game and leads the team with 37 steals during Big Ten play.
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 scored at least 16 points in 5-of-7 games from Jan. 19-Feb. 9 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 finished the season by scoring 23 points on 10 of 16 shooting and tallying four steals vs. Wisconsin
In the last 11 games, GodBold is leading the Illini in scoring at 14.2 points per game followed by Karisma Penn (11.4) and Amber Moore (10.2). GodBold's numbers in the last 11 games are a 56.4 percent field-goal percentage (62-of-110), 79.5 percent from the free-throw line (31-of-39), 165 points (15.0 ppg), 59 rebounds (5.4 rpg), 21 assists, 7 blocks, and 31 steals (2.7 spg).
GodBold has moved into sixth in the Big Ten in steals during conference play after amassing 24 steals combined in the last five games.
ILLINOIS HAS TURNED CLOSE GAMES INTO WINSEight of the 16 Illinois games in conference play have come down to the final minute. The Illini lost the first four, but have won the last four.
Against Indiana, the Illini led by eight points with nine minutes to play only to see the Hoosiers go ahead by four points. Illinois needed scores on the final two possessions to win, 61-60. First Adrienne GodBold put in a rebound basket, was fouled and converted a free throw with 43 seconds remaining, then Lydia McCully scored on a rebound basket with 0.6 seconds remaning for the win.
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. After exchanging leads down the stretch, Illinois broke a 67-67 tie by scoring the final five points of the game.
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 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).
More on the Ohio State Victory 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 points at 56-44 with just under nine minutes remaining in the game.
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 late, but scored six straight points to take a one-point advantage at the end.
Barefoot For A PurposeIllinois 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.
Big Ten Tournament Tickets On Sale NowAll-session tickets for the 2012 Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at the Illinois Athletics ticket office, Bankers Life Fieldhouse box office, Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis is the site of the tournament from March 1-4.