Women's Basketball
WNIT Round 3 Notes & Links: Illinois at Toledo

Amber Moore is averaging a team-high 20.5 points per game in WNIT play.
Amber Moore is averaging a team-high 20.5 points per game in WNIT play.

March 26, 2013

 Game 32: Illinois (18-13) at Toledo (29-3)
 When Thursday, March 28, 2013 | 6 p.m. CT
 Tournament Info Tourney Central | Bracket
 Location Toledo, Ohio | Savage Arena (7,300)
 Tickets Reserved: $15 // GA: $12 // Children reserved: $7.50 // Children GA: $6
Call 419-530-4653 or purchase at Savage Arena box office
 Streaming Video Watch (free)
 Radio WDWS AM-1400 (Champaign-Urbana) & WDAN AM-1490 (Danville) | Listen
 Live Stats Live Stats
 Preview Interviews Coach Bollant | Penn | GodBold
 Printable Game Notes Illinois | Toledo
 Season Stats Illinois | Toledo
 Series History Teams have never met
 Social Media @IlliniWBB   |  #Illini   |  Facebook | YouTube

 Illinois Probable Starters
Pos. No. Name Ht. Cl. PPG RPG Note
G 23 Alexis Smith 5-9 So. 6.6 2.4 160 assists rank 3rd in Illini history
G 42 Amber Moore 5-11 Jr. 12.5 4.5 Averaging 20.5 ppg in 2 WNIT games
G 22 Ivory Crawford 5-10 So. 12.2 4.3 4th in B1G in steals per game (2.5)
G 24 Adrienne Godbold 5-11 Sr. 16.6 7.3 2013 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year
F 00 Karisma Penn 6-2 Sr. 19.0 9.6 19.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 4.5 bpg, 3.0 spg in WNIT play

Illinois is...
...10-7 all-time in the postseason WNIT
...2-5 on the road in the postseason WNIT
...5-1 in its last 2 postseason WNIT appearances (2010, '13)
...27-13 all-time against MAC opponents
...allowing only 57.0 ppg in the 2013 WNIT
...holding opponents to 35% shooting in the 2013 WNIT
...averaging 12.5 steals & 24.0 turnovers forced in the WNIT
...10 steals from breaking the Big Ten single-season record
...are 6 made 3-pointers shy of breaking the school record
...the Illini single-season steals (383) & turnovers forced (737)
...the Big Ten steals record-holder (234) in BT play
...the Big Ten record-holder in turnovers forced in a conference season (24.8), breaking the 25-year-old record
...No. 5 nationally in steals per game (12.7) (through 3/25)
...No. 12 nationally in turnover margin (+5.52)
...No. 35 nationally in points per game (69.8)
...6-4 on the road this season
...12-1 when opponent shoots under 40 percent FGs
...8-1 when out-rebounding its opponent
...16-2 when leading at halftime
...15-2 when shooting more FTs than its opponent
...13-2 when scoring 70+ points
...11-2 when Amber Moore makes 3+ three-pointers
...11-3 when Karisma Penn scores 20+ points

Setting the Scene
• The Game:
Illinois travels to Toledo in the Round of 16 of the Women's National Invitation Tournament Thursday at 6 p.m. CT at Savage Arena, continuing the Illini's first trip to the postseason in three seasons. Toledo will be providing a free live video stream of the game. Reserved, lower-bowl tickets are available for $15, while seats in the upper-east sections of Savage Arena are general admission and $12 each. Tickets for children 12 and under are $7.50 for reserved seats and $6 for general admission.

• Inside the Match-up: The Illini advanced to the third round of the WNIT with a 62-54 win over Eastern Illinois at the Assembly Hall on March 25. Toledo defeated Youngstown State 61-43 on March 23. Illinois enters the game 18-13 overall after going 9-7 and tying for fifth place in the Big Ten. The Rockets are 29-3 with a 15-1 mark and regular-season championship in the Mid-American Conference. But Toledo lost to No. 4 seed Central Michigan, 66-61, in the MAC tournament semifinal and missed out on an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

• Illinois Against Postseason Squads: The Illini are 5-1 against teams in the WNIT field and 3-7 against NCAA Tournament squads. Illinois was 2-0 this season against fellow WNIT team Minnesota, beat Memphis and lost to Illinois State. The Illini also beat Miami (Ohio) in the WNIT first round and Eastern Illinois in the second round. Among NCAA Tournament teams, the Illini beat Georgia, Nebraska and Iowa, and lost to Penn State, Purdue (twice), Texas Tech, Michigan, Michigan State and Colorado. • Looking Ahead: The winner of the Illinois-Toledo contest will advance to the WNIT quarterfinals to face the winner of Thursday's Kansas State-Ball State game, which is being played in Manhattan, Kan. The quarterfinal contest will be played between March 30 and April 1 at a site and time to be determined.

Quick Hits
• Veteran Trio Takes Over in WNIT:
Karisma Penn and Amber Moore have led the way for the Illini so far in the WNIT, combining to average 40.0 points per game. Moore led all scorers with 25 against Miami (Ohio) in the first round and chipped in 16 against Eastern Illinois. Penn had 20 against the RedHawks and 19 against the Panthers. Adrienne Godbold also has reached double figures in both games, scoring 15 against Miami and 10 against EIU. Combined, the trio have accounted for 78 percent of the Illini's postseason scoring.

• Penn Reaches Milestone: Senior forward Karisma Penn became only the seventh player in Big Ten history to top 1,900 points and 1,000 rebounds with her 20-point outing against Miami (Ohio) on March 21. And with nine rebounds against Eastern Illinois on March 25, she passed Cindy Dallas for second on Illinois' all-time rebounding list with 1,023. Penn also passed Lisa Robinson for fourth place on the all-time scoring chart with her 19 points against the Panthers and now has 1,922.

• Illini Do It With Defense: After allowing 67.3 points per game during the regular season, Illinois has cranked up the defense in the postseason. In two WNIT games, the Illini are allowing only 57.0 ppg and are holding opponents to 34.8 percent shooting after foes hit 42.1 percent during the regular season. Illinois also is continuing its season-long trend of forcing turnovers, averaging 24.0 turnovers forced and 12.5 steals per game in the WNIT.

Illini in the WNIT
Illinois is 10-7 all-time in seven WNIT appearances and 2-5 in WNIT road games. But the Illini went 2-1 on the road in the 2010 WNIT. Illinois beat Western Kentucky in the first round of the 2010 tournament, won at Missouri State in the third round that season and fell to Illinois State in the quarterfinals of the 2010 event. The Illini have played in the WNIT in 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2013.

Illini Against the WNIT Field
Illinois is 5-1 against other teams in the Women's NIT, going 2-0 against Minnesota, beating Memphis on the Tigers' home court on Dec. 9, topping Miami (Ohio) in the first round on March 21 and beating Eastern Illinois in the second round on March 25. The Illini's lone loss to a WNIT squad was a 69-68 defeat to Illinois State on Dec. 21.

Scouting The Rockets
The 2011 WNIT champion, Toledo is in the tournament for the fourth-straight season after winning the regular-season Mid-American Conference championship with a 15-1 league mark. But the Rockets lost to Central Michigan in the semifinals of the MAC Tournament and did not earn at at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

• Toledo has an RPI of 39 according to WarrenNolan.com but a schedule strength of 185 out of 345 Division I teams. The Rockets were 1-2 against NCAA tournament qualifier Central Michigan, lost to NCAA tournament participant Dayton 79-76 on Nov. 14, beat WNIT participant Marquette 82-71 on Dec. 15 and beat WNIT qualifier Charlotte 76-66 on Dec. 29.

• The Rockets had a 15-game winning streak from Jan. 13-March 6, sandwiched between a home loss to Central Michigan on Jan. 10 and a loss to the Chippewas in the MAC tournament on March 15. UT also won 11 straight games between an early-season loss to Dayton and the first loss to CMU.

• Toledo has played stifling defense all season, allowing opponents to score only 51.2 points per game and holding foes to 50 or fewer points in 20 of 32 total games. UT holds a +4.4 turnover margin and averages 10.3 steals per game, while also out-rebounding its foes by 5.6 boards per game. Toledo leads the MAC in field-goal defense (.345) and is second in three-point defense (.278). The Rockets lead the league in rebounding margin and turnover margin, and rank second in steals and assists.

• The Rockets have a balanced scoring team with fifth-year senior guard Naama Shafir leading the way with 12.9 points per game. Andola Dortch averages 10.7, Inma Zanoguera is at 10.1 ppg and Yolanda Richardson 9.4. Eight players average over 12 minutes per game and 10 have seen action in 26 or more games.

Toledo Series History
Thursday will mark the first meeting between the Illini and Toledo in the schools' history. Illinois is 27-13 all-time against MAC teams, with the most recent meeting coming in the WNIT first round when the Illini beat Miami (Ohio).

Last Time Out: Eastern Illinois | Highlights
Four Illini players scored in double figures and held Eastern Illinois to one field goal in the final 3:45 as Illinois beat the Panthers 62-54 in a second-round WNIT game at the Assembly Hall on March 25, giving head coach Matt Bollant his 300th career win. Karisma Penn led the Illini with 19 points, Amber Moore added 16, Ivory Crawford had 11 and Adrienne Godbold scored 10 as Illinois broke the school record for turnovers forced in a season, causing 22 EIU miscues.

Penn added nine rebounds, five blocks and four steals, and Moore also snagged four steals. GodBold had nine rebounds and Alexis Smith dished eight assists as Illinois recorded only its second win of the season when trailing at halftime as EIU led 29-26 at intermission.

Illinois held the Panthers to 35.7 percent field-goal shooting and limited EIU to 3-of-10 three-point shooting in the second half. The Illini salted away the game late, hitting 5-of-6 free throws in the final 40 seconds to seal the deal.