Game 11 WBB Notes: Illinois vs. UIC at the United Center
Dec. 17, 2010
GAME 11 - Illinois (4-6) vs. Illinois-Chicago (4-4)Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010 // 10:30 a.m. CT // United Center (20,917) // Chicago, Ill.
ON THE AIR
Let's Play Two: Saturday's game vs. UIC will be the front end of a doubleheader with the Fighting Illini men, who face the UIC men at 1 p.m. Both games will be on a single ticket. Tickets can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 312-559-1212.
The United Center -- A Home Away From Home: Illinois is 7-3 all-time at the home of the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks, and has won five its last six games there by an average of nearly 33 points. The Illini played one game at the United Center for nine consecutive years from 1999-2008 before not having one there last year. The Illini dropped their most recent meeting at the United Center, falling to Bradley in 2008.
Past Illini United Center games: 12/18/99 Kansas W 61-59 12/16/00 DePaul L 63-65 12/8/01 Pepperdine W 77-72 (OT) 12/14/02 Mississippi St. L 67-72 12/6/03 Illinois State W 85-51 12/11/04 Pacific W 74-31 12/3/05 Saint Louis W 75-40 12/9/06 Rhode Island W 73-48 12/8/07 Chicago State W 73-46 12/6/08 Bradley L 53-71SCOUTING THE FLAMES
UIC is off to a 4-4 start with wins over Niagara, BYU, Dayton and Northern Illinois and losses to Oakland, DePaul, Illinois State and Eastern Illinois. The ISU and EIU games are the most recent, as they fell at ISU 94-86 on Dec. 4 and also lost 63-62 at EIU on Dec. 11. The Flames were picked to finish fourth in the preseason Horizon League coaches poll after going 12-18 last season.
The Flames are led by current Horizon League Player of the Week Shameia Green and preseason first team All-Conference selection Jasmine Bailey. A 5-7 guard, Green scored 32 points and hit 12-of-15 from the field in the loss at EIU. For the season, she is leading the team in scoring (14.3 ppg). Bailey is a 5-8 guard who is second on the team in scoring (12.5 ppg) and first in rebounding (9.0 rpg). Briana Hinkle, a 5-7 guard, is also averaging double-figures at 11.6 ppg and has a team-high 26 assists.
The Illini-UIC Series: Illinois leads the series 13-3 overall and has won the last 10 meetings against the Flames. UIC's three wins versus the Illini came in consecutive years from 1977-79, but it has been all Illinois since then. The two teams have met just twice since 1994, with Illinois winning 53-48 in Chicago in 2006 and 69-57 in Champaign in 2007.
Local Connections: Illinois has five players on its roster from the Chicago area in Adrienne GoldBold (Marshall HS), Kersten Magrum (Lincoln-Way East), Centrese McGee (Thornton Fractional North), Lana Rukavina (Wheeling HS) and Courtney Owens (York HS). UIC, meanwhile, has Champaign native and Central HS graduate Kierra Robinson on its roster.
PENN STEPPING UP
Only 10 games into her sophomore season, Penn is already climbing up the UI career blocks list. After breaking the UI freshman record with 57 swats last year, Penn has added 26 so far this season to bring her career total to 83, tied for seventh-best on the UI career list. She needs five to catch Casey Leonhardt for sixth.
ILLINOIS CAREER BLOCKED SHOT LEADERS 1. 231 Jenna Smith 2006-10 2. 163 Lacey Simpson 2005-10 3. 156 Kendra Gantt 1981-85 4. 135 Jonelle Polk 1983-87 5. 112 Angelina Williams 2001-05 6. 88 Casey Leonhardt 1996-98 7. 83 Karisma Penn 2009- 83 Cindy Dallas 1998-04 9. 74 Tauja Catchings 1996-00 10. 70 Iveta Marcauskaite 2000-02WHERE ARE THE SENIORS?
Illinois is one of only seven Division I teams in the nation without a senior on its roster heading into the 2010-11 season, joining Maryland, Miami (Fla.), Murray State, Oral Roberts, Purdue and Rutgers. With the absence of senior leadership, Illini head coach Jolette Law has singled out redshirt junior Lydia McCully and sophomores Karisma Penn and Kersten Magrum as players who have stepped up as leaders this season.
LAST TIME OUT: ILLINI DROP HEARTBREAKER
With Illinois leading 61-60 and 9.3 seconds left on the game clock and six second left on the shot clock, OU star Bethany Watterworth (29 points, eight rebounds) drew only backboard on a runner from the free throw line. She followed her shot though, grabbing the rebound on the left block and putting in a layup as the shot clock expired to provide the game-winning points with 2.3 seconds left.
That was enough time for Moore, a native of nearby Detroit, to catch a pass at midcourt, take two dribbles and launch a 35-footer that hit the backboard, the front of the rim, the backboard again and then the front of the rim again before falling harmlessly to the floor, sealing the Illini's fate.
Illinois led for most of the game, jumping out to an eight point lead early in the game before falling victim to 17 first-half turnovers. The two teams were knotted at 29 after junior guard Macie Blinn hit a three at the halftime buzzer to tie the game up. The Illini then scored the first five points of the second half and led most of the way before seeing it tied up once again at the end of regulation.
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