Game 10 Notes & Links: Illinois at #11/17 Colorado
Dec. 6, 2013
Illini in Midst of Busy Stretch: Saturday's game is Illinois' second of three contests in a span of six days across three time zones. The Illini faced Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Wednesday, will fly to Boulder on Friday evening for Saturday's game, return home Saturday night and host Seton Hall (6-1) Monday at 7 p.m. at State Farm Center. After Monday, Illinois will have played six games in 12 days leading up to final exams. Including the trip to the Cancun Challenge, the Illini have logged 5,405 air miles (approximate distance of direct flights) in the last 15 days.
Illini Scoring with the Best of Them: While Illinois' offensive production slowed a bit against stiffer competition at the Cancun Challenge, the Illini still rank 35th nationally in scoring offense through games of Dec. 1 at 80.4 points per game. The Orange and Blue have topped 80 points four times - after accomplishing the feat only six times in 2012-13 - and have reached 70 points in six of eight games.
Moore B1G POW: Senior guard/forward Amber Moore was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Nov. 18 after averaging 25.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game in three Illini wins the previous week. She dominated against Mississippi Valley State on Nov. 14, scoring 27 and pulling down a career-high 19 rebounds, scored 23 and hauled in seven boards against Valparaiso on Nov. 12, and capped the week with a 25-point performance in only 23 minutes against Alcorn State on Nov. 21. It was Moore's first career weekly honor.
Records Fall Against Alcorn State: Illinois broke the school record for margin of victory with its 84-point win over Alcorn State on Nov. 17, and the Lady Braves' 10-point second-half output also broke the State Farm Center mark for fewest points in a half. ASU's 15.21 field-goal percentage was the worst by an Illini opponent in school history and the Braves' seven field goals were the second-fewest by an Illini opponent.
Moore Breaks Career Treys Mark: With four treys on Nov. 12, Amber Moore broke the school record for career three-point field goals made. Moore now sits in first place with 239 career treys, surpassing Lori Bjork's 214. Last year, Moore broke school records for three-pointers made in a season and three-pointers attempted in a season and a career. She currently ranks fourth nationally with 3.75 treys per game (through games of Dec. 1), and is hitting them at a 39-percent clip, above her career 34.6 percentage heading into this season.
Starters Carry Scoring Load: Four of Illinois' starting five are averaging at least 10.7 points per game. With the squad averaging 79.1 points per game, the starters are scoring 79.7 percent of the points.
Fearsome Foursome Leads the Way: Amber Moore has registered double figures in each of the Illini's first nine games, while Jacqui Grant has accomplished the feat eight times. Ivory Crawford has seven double-digit scoring performances, including Illinois' first five games, and Sarah Hartwell has done it five times. Moore is tied for fifth in the Big Ten in scoring average (18.0 ppg) and leads the league in three-pointers made (32, 3.6 per game). Crawford is 18th in the league in scoring average (13.6) and Grant is 20th (13.2).
Crawford Producing Consistently: While she may be overshadowed by Amber Moore's blisteringly hot start to the season, Ivory Crawford has been a consistent presence for the Illini. The junior guard is averaging 13.6 points per game and has scored in double digits seven times, with a season high of 24 against Bradley on Nov. 8. She also is averaging 5.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.3 steals in 26.4 minutes per game.
Grant Will Not Surrender: Freshman forward Jacqui Grant has started her Illini career on a strong note, averaging 13.2 points and a team-best 7.3 rebounds per game - which is ninth-best in the Big Ten - over the first nine, including double-doubles against Georgia Tech and Bradley. The Park Ridge, Ill., native scored 12 points and pulled down 14 boards, including 10 offensive rebounds, in 27 minutes against the Braves. Her 10 offensive boards are tied for fourth-most in a game in school history. She had 14 points and 11 rebounds at Georgia Tech. Grant is replacing Karisma Penn in the middle, who finished second in school history with 42 career double-doubles and had 14 last season.
Scouting the Buffaloes
Colorado is out-scoring its opponents by an average of 20.4 points per game, averaging 79.0 points per game while holding foes to 58.6. CU is shooting at a 45.9 percent clip.
The Buffs also have an 11.0-rebound advantage per game over their first seven contests, which can partially be attributed to their height. CU has nine players who stand 6-feet or taller. Arielle Roberson leads the way with 8.2 boards per game and six other players average 3.6 or more rebounds per game.
CU started last season 11-0 and went 24-5 in the regular season. The Buffs hosted the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament but lost in the first round to Kansas, 67-52. Colorado returned four starters from that team but lost All-American point guard Chucky Jeffery, who averaged 13.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game.
Series History Against Colorado