Game 11 Notes & Links: Illinois vs. Seton Hall
Dec. 9, 2013
Illini in Midst of Busy Stretch: Monday's game wraps up a string of three contests in a span of six days across three time zones. The Illini faced Georgia Tech in Atlanta last Wednesday, played at Colorado on Saturday and returned home to face Seton Hall (6-1) Monday. 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 has slowed a bit against stiffer competition lately, the Illini still rank fifth in the Big Ten in scoring offense at 76.8 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 10 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 241 career treys, surpassing Lori Bjork's 214. She also ranks ninth in Big Ten history, three behind Northwestern's Michele Ratay for eighth place. 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 leads the Big Ten with 3.4 treys per game and is hitting them at a 38-percent clip, above her career 34.6 percentage heading into this season.
Starters Carry Scoring Load: Illinois has three players averaging double figures and a fourth just below that threshold. With the squad averaging 76.8 points per game, the starters are scoring 81.1 percent of the points.
Fearsome Foursome Leads the Way: Amber Moore has registered double figures in each of the Illini's first 10 games, while Jacqui Grant has accomplished the feat nine times. Ivory Crawford has eight double-digit scoring performances, including Illinois' first five games, and Sarah Hartwell has done it five times. Moore is sixth in the Big Ten in scoring average (17.8 ppg) and leads the league in three-pointers per game (3.4 per game). Grant is 16th in the league in scoring (13.9) and Crawford is 20th (13.3 ppg).
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 13.3 points per game and has scored in double digits eight times, with a season high of 24 against Bradley on Nov. 8. She also is averaging 5.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.5 steals in 27.2 minutes per game.
Grant Will Not Surrender: Freshman forward Jacqui Grant has started her Illini career on a strong note, averaging 13.9 points and a team-best 7.3 rebounds per game - which is ninth-best in the Big Ten - over the first 10, 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 and went for 20 points (including 15 in the first half) and seven boards at No. 11 Colorado. 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 Pirates
Seton Hall is out-scoring its opponents by an average of 11.6 points per game and is a post-oriented team with nine players standing 6-feet or taller. The Pirates average 37.75 points in the paint per game, compared to 22.5 per game for their opponents. SHU also out-rebounds its foes by 11.5 boards per game and has three players average 9.0 rebounds per game or more.
Seton Hall has two players averaging double-doubles on the season, with Sidney Cook at 10.2 points and 11.0 rebounds per game, and Bra'Shey Ali at 10.0 points and 15.3 rebounds. Ali, however, hasn't played in the Pirates' last five games after posting a double-double against Weber State on Nov. 15.
Tabatha Richardson-Smith leads the Pirates with 21.1 points per game and also averages 9.0 rebounds per game. She is SHU's main three-point shooter, making 48 percent of her attempts from long range and accounting for 23 of the 33 treys The Hall has made this season.
SHU head coach Anthony Bozzella is in his first season at the helm after spending the last 11 years at Iona. A graduate of Seton Hall, Bozzella led Iona to three MAAC title games and four berths in the WNIT over the past eight seasons while posting a 138-116 record.
Series History Against Seton Hall