Game 12 Notes & Links: Illinois vs UT Martin
Dec. 18, 2013
...facing UT Martin for the first time in school history
• Saturday’s Game: Illinois (6-5) looks to ride its second half momentum from its 20-point come-from-behind victory over Seton Hall on Dec. 9. Playing their first game after finals, the Illini will host UT Martin on Saturday at 2 p.m. The game will be streamed on FightingIllini.com All-Access. With a win, the Illini can remain undefeated at home and move their State Farm Center winning streak to eight games. The two squads will meet for the first time in program history.
• Historic Comeback: On Dec. 9 vs. Seton Hall, the Illini came back from a 20-point deficit with 8:45 remaining in the game to defeat Seton Hall 71-70. Nia Oden grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled with five seconds left. She then made 1-of-2 free throws to give the Illini the game-winner. The Illini had 11 steals and forced 15 turnovers in the second half, shooting 48.5 percent from the field. Illinois closed the game on a 15-2 run.
• Moore Earns 2nd B1G POTW Honors: Amber Moore was the main catalyst of the come-from-behind win over Seton Hall on Dec. 9. The senior scored 22 of her 24 points in the second half, including shooting 7-of-11 from the field and 4-of-7 from three-point range. With 43 seconds remaining, Moore made the game-tying trey to cap a 25-5 Illinois run. Her 11 rebounds resulted in her second double-double of the season and third in her career. The Big Ten acknowledged this performance with her second weekly conference honors of the season.
• Illini Scoring with the Best of Them: While Illinois’ offensive production has slowed a bit against stiffer competition lately, the Illini still rank fourth in the Big Ten in scoring offense at 76.3 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 seven of 11 games.
• Moore B1G POW: Senior guard/forward Amber Moore was named Big Ten Player of the Week for the first time 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 245 career treys, surpassing Lori Bjork’s 214. She also ranks eighth in Big Ten history, three behind Wisconsin’s Jolene Anderson 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 3.5 treys per game and is hitting them at a 38-percent clip, above her career 35.1 percentage heading into this season.
• Starters Carry Scoring Load: Illinois has four starters averaging double figures, with their newly appointed fifth starter Alexis Smith at 7.7 ppg. With the squad averaging 76.3 points per game, the starters are scoring 82.7 percent of the points.
• Fearsome Foursome Leads the Way: Amber Moore has registered double figures in each of the Illini’s first 11 games. Both Jacqui Grant and Ivory Crawford have accomplished the feat nine times each, with Sarah Hartwell reaching double digits six times. Moore is fifth in the Big Ten in scoring average (18.4 ppg) and leads the league in three-pointers per game (3.5 per game). Grant is 21st in the league in scoring (13.5) and Crawford is 22nd (13.4 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 13.4 points per game and has scored in double digits nine times, with a season high of 24 against Bradley on Nov. 8. She also is averaging 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals in 28.2 minutes per game.
• Grant Will Not Surrender: Freshman forward Jacqui Grant has started her Illini career on a strong note, averaging 13.5 points and a team-best 6.8 rebounds per game – which is ranked 13th in the Big Ten – over the first 11, 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.
• UT-Martin visits Champaign with a 2-2 away record, looking to improve their overall of 6-4. Their first road loss this year was at Gonzaga on Nov. 11 where they were beaten 54-91. Their next road loss came this past Tuesday night, where they fell 82-60 to fellow Big Ten foe Ohio State.
• While UT-Martin only out-scores opponents by an average of 0.9 points per game, the Skyhawks’ strength lies in free throws, with a team percentage of .748 this season. UT-Martin is being out-rebounded by opponents at an average of 1.9 a game. Additionally, the Skyhawks have been out-blocked by opponents this season, totaling 27 blocks to 41.
• Two players lead UT-Martin with an average of 22 points per game, Heather Butler and Jasmine Newsome. These two senior guards also have free-throw percentages over .800 and 14 steals this season. While both players put up good offensive numbers, they also yield the highest number of turnovers this season.
• The Skyhawks have another duo, Tiara Caldwell and Ashia Jones, both Freshman forwards, who lead the team in rebounds, averaging 5.8 each. Caldwell also leads the team in field goal percentage this season with .511 with Jones not far behind at .500. The two players also have a high number of personal fouls this season, with Jones fouling out of two games.
• UT-Martin head coach Kevin McMillan is in his eighth season with the Skyhawks. McMillian has lead his team to three consecutive Ohio Valley Conference Tournament championships as well as the NCAA Tournament. McMillan has an 80-57 overall record during his time at UT-Martin.
Illinois is facing UT Martin for the first time in the schools’ history. In addition, head coach Matt Bollant has never faced the Skyhawks as well.
Illinois staged one of the biggest comebacks in school history Dec. 9 at State Farm Center, coming back from a 20-point deficit with 8:45 remaining in the game to beat Seton Hall 71-70 and snap a three-game losing streak. Nia Oden made 1-of-2 free throws to push Illinois ahead by a point and Seton Hall’s Ka-Deidre Simmons’ running three-pointer banged off the backboard and the front of the rim before bouncing away, giving the Illini (6-5) the heart-pounding victory and marking their seventh-straight home win. The Illini finished the game on a 28-7 run over the final 8:45.
The Illini are currently riding a wave of momentum at home, undefeated this season at 5-0 inside State Farm Center. In fact, the home winning streak can be stretched back to the end of last season, which would give Illinois a seven game winning streak. This year, the Illini are averaging 88.2 points per game at home while holding opponents to just 54 points per game. Senior Amber Moore has especially enjoyed playing in front of the home crowd, as she has scored 22.6 points per game in the five contests inside State Farm Center. Last season, the Illini went 11-7 under Bollant at home and won six of their last seven home games, meaning Illinois now has won 11 of its last 12 home games.
While Amber Moore is more widely known as a three-point shooter, she is even better from 15 feet. The senior was the last player in the Big Ten to remain perfect from the free-throw line this season before missing one at Georgia Tech on Dec. 4. She is 28-of-29 from the stripe and currently stands first on Illinois’ career free-throw percentage record list at 87.7 percent (150-171).
On Nov. 14, Amber Moore proved that she not only can be a major scoring threat for the illini, but also can dictate the rebounding battle as well. The senior captured a career-high 19 rebounds, blowing by her previous best of 10. In fact, her 19 rebounds tied the eighth-highest single-game total in Illinois history. The last Illini to accomplish 19 rebounds in a game was Karisma Penn vs. Georgia on Dec. 28, 2012, which also marked Penn’s career high.
Last season, Amber Moore put her name in the Illini record book when she broke the school record for three-point field goals made in a season with 86, besting the original mark of 84 mady by Lori Bjork (2006-07). Through 11 games this season, Moore already has 38 total treys, good for a 3.5 average per game, which leads the Big Ten. At that rate, Moore is on pace to surpass her own record with 105 three-pointers. Heading into the season, Moore already held UI records for career and season three-pointers attempted, and season three-pointers made.
Last season, Illinois set a single-season school record when they recorded 417 total steals through 33 games. Through 11 games this year, the Illini are averaging 12.6 steals per game, best in the Big Ten by 2.2 steals per game. Jacqui Grant and Amber Moore lead with 25 and 24 steals respectively, while Sarah Hartwell has 18, Ivory Crawford has 17, and Taylor Gleason has 14.
The Orange and Blue are creating 22.6 turnovers per game while only making 16.6 of their own, good for a turnover margin of +6.0, which leads the Big Ten.
After breaking school records for three-pointers made (184) and attempted (634) in a season in 2012-13, the Illini picked up where they left off. So far, Illinois is averaging 6.2 treys per game and has hit 10 or more threes in three games. Illinois drained 12-of-27 three-pointers at Bradley on Nov. 9, tying the single-game school record and marking the Illini’s most three-pointers made in a loss in school history. They nearly tied that mark again on Nov. 14 against Mississippi Valley State, converting 11 threes on 26 attempts, then hit 10-of-22 against Alcorn State on Nov. 17.
Before Matt Bollant arrived in Champaign, Illinois had hit 10 or more treys in a game seven times. During his 42-game tenure with the Illini, they have already matched that, hitting 10+ three-pointers seven times.
Single-Game Three-Point Field Goals
Rk No Game
1. 12 Bradley 98, Illinois (12-27) 92 (11/9/2013)
12 Illinois 80 (12-25), Auburn 68 (12/29/2003)
12 Illinois (12-25) 106, Providence 74 (11/29/1997)
3. 11 Illinois (11-26) 93, MVSU 70 (11/14/2013)
11 Illinois (11-24) 74, Iowa 62 (1/31/2013)*
11 Illinois (11-27) 91, Minnesota 86 (1/28/2013)*
11 Illinois (11-25) 84, Evansville 52 (11/11/2012)
7. 10 Illinois (10-22) 112, Alcorn State 28 (11/17/2013)
10 Illinois State 69, Illinois (10-29) 68 (12/21/2012)
10 Illinois (10-26) 66, Michigan 61 (2/4/2008)
10 Illinois (10-18) 92, Michigan 78 (1/27/2002)
10 Illinois (10-20) 91, Kent State 97 (1/2/1994)
10 Illinois (10-17) 104, Cal Poly 63 (11/22/2010)
*denotes school record for three-pointers in a Big Ten game
With 202 points through 11 games, Moore became the 26th player to cross the 1,000 point barrier. Moore’s 24 points vs Seton Hall on Dec. 9 pushed her past Lisa Bradley into 17th place with 1,193 career points. She is 22 points from passing Krista Reinking (1,215) for 16th place.
Head coach Matt Bollant announced the addition of three players to the Illini squad for the 2014-15 season on Nov. 13. Chatrice White, Amarah Coleman and Brooke Kissinger all signed their national letters of intent with the Illini today.
The Collegiate Girls Bsketball Report has the class ranked 23rd overall in the NCAA, with two top-100 recruits. The class is also ranked third in the Big Ten, only behind Ohio State (1) and Nebraska (2).
White is ESPN HoopGurlz’ No. 27 player nationally in the class of 2014 and the No. 4 post player. Coleman is ranked No. 81 overall and is the No. 19 point guard in the class, while Kissinger is the No. 18 guard nationally. White and Kissinger – who both hail from Nebraska – play for the same AAU team, the Cornhusker Shooting Stars, while Coleman is a native of Bolingbrook, Ill., and currently attends Homewood-Flossmoor High School. Coleman is the step-sister of Fighting Illini men’s basketball freshman point guard Jaylon Tate.