Game 3 Notes: Cleveland State (1-1) at Illinois (1-1)
Game 3 -- Cleveland St. (1-1) at Illinois (1-1)Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 // 2:00 p.m. CT /// Assembly Hall (16,618) // Champaign, Ill.
ON THE AIR:Radio: Live on Illini Sports Network (WDWS-AM 1400 in Champaign, WDAN AM-1490 in Danville), Dave Loane (PBP) & Mike Koon (analyst)
>The series:Illinois leads the series, 1-0 (first meeting in Champaign)
Last meeting: Nov. 13, 2011 (Illinois 72, Cleveland State 42)
THE COACHES:Illinois: Matt Bollant, 1-1 at Illinois (1st year), 283-56 overall (11th year)
Cleveland State: Kate Peterson Abiad 119-160 at Cleveland State and overall (11th year)
SCORING PROWESSIllinois has proven that it can be a strong scoring team, averaging 80.5 points per game in the first two contests. Although very early, that would the third most by an Illinois team in history. The 1981-82 team averaged 83.1 ppg, while the 1996-97 Big Ten championship team scord 82.5 points per game. Illinois hasn't averaged 70.0 points per game since 2002-03, its last NCAA Tournament appearance.
HORIZON TIESIllinois is facing Cleveland State for the second time in school history, but Illini coaches Matt Bollant and Mike Divilbiss are quite familiar with the Vikings. CSU and Green Bay (Bollant and Divilbiss' former team) were both in the Horizon League. Green Bay went 10-2 vs. Cleveland State in Bollant's five seasons.
PENN OFF TO FAST START Illinois forward Karisma Penn is a two-time All-Big Ten selection, but is looking for first-team all-conference accolades this year. Penn is off to a great start to that end, coming off a 29-point, 16-rebound effort vs. Bradley after going for 11 points and 12 rebounds against Bradley. Penn leads all Big Ten players in rebounding through the first week of the season, averaging 14.0 rebounds per contest. Her 28 rebounds are five better than Nebraska's Jordan Hooper. Penn is also fourth in the league in scoring at 20.0 points per game.
Penn's 29 points are tied for the second most in a game among conference players. Only Minnesota's Rachel Banham has scored more, pooring in 34 vs. Washington State.
Penn has scored in double figures in 73 of her 98 collegiate games. Thursday's performance vs. Bradley was her 24th with a least 20 points. She reached the 20-point mark just twice in all of 2011-12 with a pair of 21-point games.
The 29 points were the third most by Penn in her career. She tallied 30 points vs. Cal Poly on Nov. 22, 2010 and 33 vs. Michigan on Feb. 20, 2011.
Penn has moved into 13th on the Illinois career scoring list with 1,372, just one point behind Kris Dupps for 12th.
Penn's 27 field-goal attempts vs. Bradley were one off the Assembly record by an Illini.
MORE ON CLEVELAND STATE Cleveland State enters the game with a 1-1 record, having defeated South Dakota, 60-46 and lost at Ohio Univeristy, 63-56.
Sunday's contest could be a contrast in styles. The Vikings are averaging 58.0 points per game while giving up 54.5. The Illini, meanwhile, are averaging 80.5 points and giving up 67.5.
Shalonda Winton leads Cleveland State in scoring (23.0 points per game) and rebounding (12.5 rpg).
Cleveland State finished 12-19 overall and seventh in the Horizon League in 2011-12.
LAST MEETING RECAPKersten Magrum had a career-high 23 points and a career-best seven rebounds to help lift Illinois to a 72-42 victory at Cleveland State in 2011. Magrum made 8 of 11 field goals and 7 of 8 from the free-throw line in the victory. Both teams are now 1-1 on the season. Magrum was one of three players in double figures for the Illini. Sophomore Amber Moore added 12 points and five assists on 5 of 10 shooting. Freshman Ivory Crawford tallied 11 points, making all three of her three-point attempts. As a team, Illinois used hot shooting to pull away. The Illini shot 50 percent from the field (28 of 56) for the game, but shot 56.3 percent in outscoring the host Vikings 43-25 in the second half. Illinois was also 6 of 13 from three three-point arc.
CRAWFORD STEPS INTO SCORING ROLE Ivory Crawford scored a career-best 18 points vs. Bradley, making 9 of 17 from the field. Crawford is second on the team in scoring (14.5 ppg), which inlcuded three 3-pointers vs. Evansville.
Last year, Crawford averaged 6.6 points per game and reached double figures nine teams. She has been in double figures in both games this year.
SMITH GIVES TEAM STRONG POINT GUARD Illinois head coach Matt Bollant has said that Alexis Smith has the potential to be the best point guard in the Big Ten. Last year Smith played in 19 games and scored just 19 points while amassing five assists. This year, Smith has emerged as force on both ends of the floor.
Smith scored 36 points and tallied 13 assists with just four turnovers combined in the two exhibition games.
After suffering through some foul difficulty in the opener, Smith had 10 points and eight assists with five turnovers vs. Bradley.
For the season, Smith has 14 assists and nine turnovers. Her 7.0 assists per game are second in the Big Ten, behind only Karly Roser of Northwestern.
LONG-RANGE ACCURACY Illinois made 11 three-points (11-25) in the 84-52 victory over Evansville on Nov. 11. That is tied for third most in a game in school history. The Illini made 12 treys in an 80-68 victory over Auburn on Dec. 29, 2003 and a 106-74 victory over Providence on Nov. 29, 1997. Illinois also sank 11 3-pointers in a 75-73 victory over Arizona on Dec. 8, 2002.
A total of six different Illinois players made threes in that game.