Women's Basketball
Game 8 Notes: Illinois (4-3) at Texas Tech (6-1)

 
Ivory Crawford and the Illini head to Lubbock, Texas, for a Wednesday night game at Texas Tech.
Ivory Crawford and the Illini head to Lubbock, Texas, for a Wednesday night game at Texas Tech.
 

Dec. 4, 2012

 Game 8: Illinois (4-3) at Texas Tech (6-1)
 When Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 | 7 p.m. CT
 Location Lubbock, Texas | United Spirit Arena (15,098)
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The Last Meeting
Illinois64
Texas Tech70
December 17, 2011
United Center, Chicago
Illini Narrowly Fall to No. 15 Texas Tech, 70-64
Karisma Penn scored 12 points and Alex Burke had 11 for the Illini, but the Lady Raiders forced 18 turnovers to stop Illinois, 70-64.

Illini Travel To Lubbock for Mid-Week Tilt
After a hard-fought seven-point loss to an undefeated Colorado team last weekend, the Fighting Illini play their first true road game of the 2012-13 season when they visit Lubbock, Texas, to face Texas Tech. It will be Illinois' third game in seven days as the Orange and Blue pass the halfway point of a rugged stretch in which they play four games in 11 days.

Illinois has been one of the nation's top offensive squads thus far, ranking second in the Big Ten and 24th out of 343 Division I women's basketball teams in scoring offense with an average of 76.1 points per game. The Illini also have been quite unselfish, averaging 17.7 assists per game, which ranks second in the Big Ten and 15th nationally. Illinois also ranks second in the Big Ten with 10.4 steals per game.

The Orange and Blue have topped 80 points in all four of its wins and have scored 70-plus points in five of seven games to this point. Last season, the Illini reached 80 twice and 70 only six times.

Included in that is a 95-point outburst against Wake Forest on Nov. 29, the highest scoring output against a BCS conference opponent since dropping 96 on Ohio State on Feb. 13, 2002.

The Illini's hot scoring start marks the first time since the Big Ten championships and NCAA Sweet Sixteen season of 1996-97 that Illinois has broken the 80-point barrier in at least four of the first six games of a campaign. The '96-97 squad topped 80 in five of its first six games.

Scouting The Lady Raiders
Texas Tech has started 2012-13 with a 6-1 record, with wins over Lamar, New Orleans, Nicholls, Southern utah, Lipscomb and Arizona State, and a loss at New Mexico. The Lady Raiders are out-scoring their opponents by an average of 20.1 points and have an average turnover margin of +10.1 per game.

• Texas Tech has gotten it done on the defensive end to this point, holding opponents to 49.6 points per game, 37.8 percent shooting, averaging 14.0 steals per game and a +10.1 turnover margin.

• If there's an area where the Lady Raiders may be vulnerable, it's the three-point arc. Texas Tech has only hit 33-of-113 (.292) three-pointers so far this year, while the Illini have drained 47 from distance and shot 30.9 percent.

• Texas Tech was 21-14 a year ago, reaching the WNIT Round of 16 for only the second time in program history. The Lady Raiders averaged 6,693 fans per game, the 11th-best attendance mark in the country.

Last Meeting with Texas Tech
Illinois pulled within four on back-to-back three-pointers by Amber Moore with 4:13 left in the game, but that was as close as the Illini would get thanks to strong free-throw shooting by the Lady Raiders down the stretch, as Texas Tech salted away a 70-64 victory at the United Center on Dec. 17, 2011. Moore had 15 in the game, Ivory Crawford added 14 and Karisma Penn scored 12.

Illini in NCAA Stats
Illinois continues to rank among the national leaders in a handful of statistical categories, through games of Dec. 2. The Illini stand 15th in assists per game (17.7), 24th in scoring offense (76.1 ppg) and 49th in three-point field goals (6.7 per game).

Sophomore Alexis Smith is second in the nation in assists per game (7.4). In addition, her 14 assists against Wake Forest (Nov. 29), are tied for the most in a game in the nation this year, and her 13 dimes against Cleveland State on Nov. 18 are tied for the third-most in the country.

Junior Amber Moore is 11th nationally in three-point field goals made per game (3.29) and 50th in assist/turnover ratio (2.08).

Senior Karisma Penn ranks 14th nationally in double-doubles (4), 18th in blocked shots per game (2.71), 25th in field-goal percentage (58.8 percent) and 42nd in points per game (19.0).

Illinois Flexing Its Offensive Muscles
Through seven games, Illinois is averaging 76.1 points per game, which ranks second in the Big Ten and ranked 24th in the country.

Although it's early, Illinois is on pace for its best scoring season since the Illini averaged 76.2 points per game in 1999-2000, the year of UI's last NCAA Tournament victory. The Illini have not averaged 70 points per game since 2002-03, their last trip to the NCAA Tournament.

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