Jan. 23, 2009
Indiana Hoosiers (14-3, 7-1) at Illinois Fighting Illini (4-16, 0-9) | Game Notes | Vote For Whitney
Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009 | 4 p.m. ET
Assembly Hall (16,618) | Champaign, Ill.
Radio: WHCC 105.1 FM (Jeremy Gray, play-by-play) | TV: Big Ten Network (Dave Eanet, play-by-play and Vera Jones, analyst)
THE OPENING TIP
Indiana will continue action on the road when it travels to Champaign, Ill., to take on the Fighting Illini on Sunday, Jan. 25 on the Big Ten Network. Tip-off against Illinois is set for 4 p.m. ET. Sunday's game will also be broadcast live locally on WHCC 105.1 FM as Jeremy Gray calls the action.
SCOUTING THE FIGHTING ILLINI
Illinois enters Sunday's game with a 4-16 mark overall and 0-9 in the Big Ten. The Illini are led by Jenna Smith with 17.5 points per game. She is also averaging 8.1 rebounds per game and has totaled 38 assists, 38 blocked shots and 25 steals on the season. Lacy Simpson is also averaging 11.0 points and a team-best 8.7 rebounds per contest. She has recorded a team-high 66 assists and 61 steals, to go along with 26 blocked shots. Illinois is averaging 51.1 points and 32.5 rebounds per game as a team. From the field, the Illini are shooting 36.6 percent (403-of-1101). They are also shooting 71.5 percent (158-of-221) from the free throw line.
WHAT'S COMING UP
The Hoosiers will then host Penn State on Jan. 29 on the BigTenNetwork.com and will hit the road to face Ohio State on the Big Ten Network on Feb. 1 in Columbus. On Feb. 5, IU will travel to Iowa City to take on the Hawkeyes. Indiana will host Illinois on Sunday, Feb. 8, with a 12:30 p.m. tip-off on the Big Ten Network, and will face Michigan State on Thursday, Feb. 12, in Assembly Hall, which is also on the BTN.
IU head coach Felisha Legette-Jack is in her third year at the helm of the Hoosier program with a career mark of 105-95 over seven seasons. She led the Hoosiers to back-to-back postseason berths in the WNIT and an 18-15 mark in 2007-08. Legette-Jack recorded her 100th career victory at Michigan State on Dec. 29, and reached her 50th win as the Hoosier mentor against Purdue on Jan. 19, 2009.
Illinois head coach Jolette Law enters her second season in her role with the Illini with an overall mark of 24-31.
NOTES OF INTEREST
Sunday's meeting marks the 55th all-time between the Hoosiers and Illini, with Indiana leading, 30-24.
Junior point guard Jamie Braun became the 21st Hoosier to reach 1,000 points in her career at IU with 16 points vs. Purdue on Jan. 19.
IU head coach Felisha Legette-Jack recorded her 50th career win at Indiana with a 71-57 victory over Purdue on Jan. 19.
Indiana is 10-15 all-time in the other Assembly Hall, with its last win coming on Jan. 7, 2007. The Hoosiers topped Illinois, 71-64.
IU's RPI ranks 16th in CollegeRPI.com weekly report, and 17th in this week's Sagarin Ratings and NCAA RPI ratings.
LAST SEASON VS. ILLINOIS
The Hoosiers and Illini split last season's meeting with IU winning in Bloomington, 70-62, and falling in Champaign, 73-62. In the first meeting, IU was led by Jamie Braun with 19 points, including a trio of 3-pointers, to go along with eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. Whitney Thomas recorded a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds, in addition to four assists, and Kim Roberson netted 15 points and added two steals. In the final meeting of the season, the Hoosiers were led by Thomas with 19 points and seven rebounds. Roberson added 15 points and seven rebounds, Amber Jackson scored 14 points and Braun netted 12 points in the effort.
Indiana currently owns a 8-2 mark away from Assembly Hall, including a six game win streak outside of the Bloomington city limits between Nov. 25-Dec. 29. The Hoosiers have knocked off opponents from the Big 12, ACC, BIG EAST and in the Big Ten with Dec. 29's win at Michigan State, Jan. 11's win at Penn State and Jan. 22's win at Michigan.
HOOSIERS BRING THE "D"
The Hoosiers have kept their opponents' scoring under 58 points nine times this season, including three straight games (12/20-01/04). IU has also recorded double-digit steals in eight of its 17 games on the year for an average of 8.88, which ranks third in the Big Ten overall.
REACHING NEW HEIGHTS
The Hoosiers' 7-1 start to Big Ten action is the program's best start in school history. Indiana's 60-50 win at Michigan was it's first since Feb. 1, 1998 when the Hoosiers defeated the Wolverines in Ann Arbor 67-58. IU's 71-57 win over Purdue in Assembly Hall was it's first over its rival in Bloomington since Jan. 25, 1998. That date was also the last time IU won the two team's rivalry game, claiming the Barnburner Trophy. Indiana's win at Penn State on Jan. 11 was the second time in the series history that the Hoosiers recorded a win in Happy Valley. The victory was also IU's seventh win against the legendary program.
1,000 DOWN, 41 TO GO
Senior All-America candidate Whitney Thomas recorded her 1,000th career point against Iowa on Jan. 4 and is 41 rebounds from reaching 1,000 on the glass. Thomas would become the second player in Indiana women's basketball history to reach the milestone in both categories as Denise Jackson ended her career as the Hoosiers' all-time leading scorer and rebounder with 1,917 points and 1,273 boards. Thomas also currently owns 224 assists and 217 steals. Her steals mark ranks her third in the IU record book. She is 13 steals from the record held by Jenny DeMuth of 230. Thomas is the fifth active player in the Big Ten to reach the 200 career steals mark. She also own 63 career blocked shots, which ranks ninth in IU lore.