Women's Basketball
Fighting Illini Face In-State Rival Illinois State

Then-sophomore Karisma Penn earned a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds against the Redbirds during the 2010-11 season..
Then-sophomore Karisma Penn earned a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds against the Redbirds during the 2010-11 season..

Dec. 6, 2011

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Printable Week Five Women's Basketball Notes

Game 9 - Illinois (3-5) vs. Illinois State (4-3)

Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011 // 7:00 p.m. CT // Redbird Arena (10,200) // Normal, Ill.

On The Air
Radio: Live on WDWS-AM 1400 and online at fightingillini.com (Brian Moline)
Live Stats: Available on fightingillini.com

The Series
Illinois leads the all-time series, 20-14. Last meeting: Illinois State 69, Illinois 62; Nov. 12, 2010

The Coaches
Illinois: Jolette Law, 59-78 overall and at Illinois (fifth season)
Illinois St.: Stephanie Glance, 28-14 overall and at Illinois State (second season)

Quick Hits
• Road Warriors: Illinois continues its nine consecutive away games with a contest at Illinois State following trips to Cleveland State, Oregon, California, Puerto Rico and Clemson.

On the Oregon-California-Puerto Rico trip alone, the Illini traveled a total of 8,610 miles from Champaign to Chicago then on to Portland and San Francisco before heading to San Juan for a pair of games before returning to Chicago and back home to Champaign.

In addition to its current trip to Normal, Ill., the closest the Orange and Blue have come to playing in Champaign since a Nov. 15 victory over Memphis, the Illini also travel to Chicago and Las Vegas before returning to Assembly Hall to meet Alabama A&M on Wednesday, Dec. 28.

• The Illini rank second in the Big Ten in blocked shots at 5.8 per game with 46 through eight contests. Individually, Karisma Penn stands third in rejections as the junior averages 2.6 per contest - only 0.3 behind the leader, Ohio State's Ashley Adams.

Kersten Magrum used last season as a medical hardship after suffering through a stress fracture in her foot. Upon returning this year, Magrum set then-career highs in points (23) and rebounds (7) in the victory over Cleveland State in only her second game back and currently ranks eighth in the Big Ten in rebounding at 7.5 boards per game. Magrum followed the Cleveland State game with her first collegiate double-double, with 10 points and 10 rebounds against Memphis before resetting career-bests with 24 points and 12 boards at Oregon. Magrum is getting it done at the free-throw line as well as the redshirt-sophomore ranks sixth in the conference in free throw percentage, making 34 of her 39 attempts in the first eight games (.872), including going 12-for-12 from the charity stripe against the Ducks.

Scouting Illinois State
Illinois State is 4-3 overall through seven games, including a pair of victories at Redbird Arena this season. The Redbirds are led by Katie Broadway's 16.9 points per game while Jamie Russell follows with 12.0 in each contest. Candace Sykes leads Illinois State with 7.7 rebounds per game while Marley Hall pulls down an average of 6.0 over the first seven contests of the 2011-12 season. On the year, Illinois State averages 69.1 points per game, 5.0 more than its opponents, while rebounding is even at 38.3 each per game. The Redbirds are lethal from behind the arc, connecting on 55 of their 121 attempts (.455 3FG pct.) for an average of 7.9 made threes per game, while opponents only hit 3.9 per contest (27-of-111; .243).

The Redbirds opened the season with an 11-point win at Ball State before dropping consecutive games at Northwestern, 69-62, and at Eastern Illinois, 83-69. Illinois State rebounded with consecutive wins over Northern Illinois, the University of Illinois-Chicago and Arkansas State before dropping its most recent contest to Arizona State, with the latter two games coming as part of the ASU Classic in Tempe, Ariz.

Head coach Stephanie Glance is in her second season leading the Redbirds after posting a 24-11 mark one year ago. Glance directed Illinois State to a 69-62 win during the Redbirds' most recent match-up with the Illini on Nov. 12, 2010. Karisma Penn led the Orange and Blue in that contest, earning a double-double behind 18 points and 11 rebounds. Amber Moore (15) and Lydia McCully (11) also scored in double-figures during the contest. Shala Jackson had a team-high 16 points for Illinois State while Emily Hanley (14), Hannah Spanich (11) and Kenyatta Shelton (10) all reached double-figures in points on the contest. Spanich also had a team-best 12 boards in 31 minutes on the floor.

Facing A Challenging Slate
Illini head coach Jolette Law compiled one of the toughest schedules in the country according to the combined strength of Illinois' opponents. The Orange and Blue will battle nine opponents appearing in or receiving votes for the current Associated Press top-25 weekly ranking, while the Illini have the eighth-highest strength of schedule according to RealTimeRPI.com as of Dec. 5. The only Big Ten team with a more difficult schedule according to the website is Penn State, which stands four spaces above the Illini.

Coming So Close
In two of its losses this season, the Illini were within one shot of securing the lead during the final minute of action as Illinois lost at Oregon, 77-74, and against Arizona State, 51-50. Had the contests swung in favor of the Orange and Blue, they would stand at 5-3 overall rather than the current record of 3-5. 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.

Your Newest 1,000-Point Club Member
Junior Karisma Penn is quickly climbing up several career charts, including recently eclipsing the 1,000-point mark against RV/#18 Green Bay. The Shaker Heights, Ohio, native enters the Clemson contest with 1,058 points, the 21st-most all-time, and is the 24th Illinois player with more than 1,000 points. Penn also ranks 17th in Illni history in career rebounds (574) and tied for third in career blocks (156) with Kendra Gantt (1981-85). For her career, Penn is averaging 14.3 points per game, including a career-best 17.5 per contest during her 2010-11 sophomore season. Penn also earned an average of 7.8 rebounds per contest during her 74-game career, which includes 73 starts, and 2.1 blocks to go with shooting .477 (409-857) while with the Orange and Blue.

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
20. 	1,091	Alicia Sheeler	1996-99
21.	1,058	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 -- 16. 589 Nicole Vasey 1994-98 17. 574 Karisma Penn 2009- 18. 573 Erin Wigley 2003-07

Illinois' Career Blocked Shots List Blocks Player Years 1. 231 Jenna Smith 2006-10 2. 163 Lacey Simpson 2005-10 3. 156 Karisma Penn 2009- 156 Kendra Gantt 1981-85

McCully Moving Up Career Assists List
Lydia McCully moved into 12th all-time at the University of Illinois in career assists with six combined against Green Bay and Arizona State. McCully now has 305 for her career after posting three more in the win at Clemson, only seven shy of passing Allison Curtin (1998-01) for the 11th-best ever with the Orange and Blue.

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.	342	Tauja Catchings	1996-00
10.	312	Shavonna Hunter	1999-02
11.	311	Allison Curtin	1998-01
12.	305	Lydia McCully	2008-

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. Four of the top five single-game blocks totals have come during the Jolette Law era. 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.

Magrum Returns From Injury
After starting 15 games and averaging 4.3 points per contest as a freshman in 2009, Kersten Magrum missed all but three games last season suffering from a stress fracture in her right foot. Magrum is considered the most versatile player in the Illini line-up. A natural guard, Magrum can play the 2, 3, or 4 position on the floor.

During the current season, Magrum has shown this versatility and effectiveness throughout. Magrum scored in double-figures against Cleveland State, Memphis, Oregon and California, including 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 eight games, tallying 10 points and 10 rebounds against Memphis on Nov. 15 in addition to her career-best night against Oregon. On the year, Magrum is second in points (12.1) and rebounds (7.5) per game and is shooting .388 (31-for-80) from the field and .872 (34-for-39) from the charity stripe.

McGee Suffers Season-Ending Injury
Sophomore guard Centrese McGee will miss the 2011-12 season after suffering an ACL tear in her right knee just prior to the start of the school year. The Calumet City native had surgery on Oct. 6 to correct the injury and will use the current season as a redshirt year as she recovers.

McGee started all 32 games for the Fighting Illini during her freshman campaign, averaging 5.7 points per game and ranking second on the team in rebounding at 5.3 per contest. She led all Big Ten freshmen in rebounding while ranking second among those first-year players in steals (1.2 per game). McGee had a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds in a victory over Wisconsin in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. Following the season, she received the Coaches' Award at the team's annual banquet and was Illinois' representative on the Big Ten Sportsmanship Team.

A Full Fifteen
For the first time under Jolette Law, the Illini have a full complement of players on the roster. Returning 10 players from a year ago, the Illini added an impressive class of five for this season.

The incoming class includes two players from state championship teams -- Alexis Smith (West Islip, N.Y./St. John the Baptist H.S.) and Taylor Tuck (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook H.S.) and all five players who have excelled in the classroom. The rest of the class includes Ivory Crawford (Chicago, Ill./Proviso East H.S.), the No. 88 ranked player in the class (No. 6 in Illinois) according to Blue Star Basketball; Nia Oden (Brooklyn, N.Y./Christ the King H.S.), the 30th-ranked wing player in the class according to ESPN HoopGurlz; and Kierra Morris (Chicago, Ill./Morgan Park Academy), a first team all-state performer.

The returnees had a combined for 266 starts coming into the season from Lydia McCully (93), Macie Blinn (23), Eboni Mitchell (18), Lana Rukavina (34), Adrienne GodBold (5), Karisma Penn (65), Kersten Magrum (15) and Amber Moore (13).

Big Ten Tournament Tickets On Sale Now
All-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, Conseco Fieldhouse box office, Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis is the site of the tournament from March 1-4.

All-session tickets are available for $50 through January 31, which marks a 30-percent discount off the regular price of $70. Fans wishing to purchase all-session tickets within their university's fan block for their respective team's games only are encouraged to contact their school's ticket office.

Illini to See Plenty of TV, Internet Coverage
The Illini will appear on national television at least seven times this season. In addition, 13 more games will be streamed live online on the Big Ten Digital Network and FightingIllini.com All-Access.

For the season, all 16 Big Ten Conference games and all Illinois home games will be either nationally televised or streamed online. In addition, all 10 Big Ten Tournament games will be televised, with the Big Ten Network airing the first three rounds and ESPN2 broadcasting the championship game.

Law Locks Up Two for 2012-13
Illinois head coach Jolette Law has announced the signing of 6-0 guard Mckenzie Piper (Iowa City, Iowa/Iowa City West H.S.) and 6-3 forward Nia Moore (Bolingbrook, Ill./H.S.) as members of the 2012-13 Illini class.

Piper committed to Illinois in June following Elite Camp after considering Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa State and Iowa among others. Piper averaged 11.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game and shot 41 percent from the field in helping Iowa City West to the championship game of the Class 4A state tournament last season. The Trojans also won the Mississippi Valley Conference for the first time in 22 years. Piper transferred to Iowa City West after playing her first two seasons at Keokuk, who advanced to the state quarterfinals during her freshman year. The three-star recruit also played for All Iowa Attack and is ranked as the 59th best guard in the class by HoopGurlz.

Moore committed to Illinois in October after also considering Notre Dame, Auburn and Wisconsin. She is the second player from the highly successful Bolingbrook High School program to join the Illini, along with current freshmen Taylor Tuck. Moore was the starting center for the 2011 IHSA Class 4A champions, who won the last three state titles in the largest class in Illinois. Moore is a three-star recruit according to HoopGurlz and transferred to Bolingbrook after playing her first two years at Morgan Park High School. HoopGurlz ranks her as the 82nd best forward in the class nationally and evaluates her as a "shot blocker/changer." She played for the Illinois Dream Team during the summer.

2010-11 In Review
The Fighting Illini finished the 2010-11 campaign with a 9-23 overall record and a 2-14 mark in the Big Ten to finish in 11th place. Illinois pulled off two upsets in the Big Ten Tournament to become the first No. 11 seed to advance to the semifinals before falling to No. 2 seed Penn State with a trip to the title game on the line.