Feb. 7, 2009
Illinois Fighting Illini (6-17, 2-10) at Indiana Hoosiers (15-6, 8-4) | National Girls and Women in Sports Day | Game Notes
Sunday, Feb. 8, 2009 | Doors Open - 10:30 a.m. | Tipoff - 12:30 p.m. | Buy Tickets
Assembly Hall (17,456) | Bloomington, Ind.
Radio: IU Radio Network (Jeremy Gray, play-by-play) | TV: Big Ten Network (Lisa Cornwell-PxP; Vera Jones-Analyst)
THE OPENING TIP
The Hoosiers host Illinois on Sunday, Feb. 8 at 12:30 p.m. ET, and will celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day in Assembly Hall. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. Fans will get the opportunity to meet IU female student-athletes, try new sports skills and learn the benefits from participating in sports. There will be interactive stations before the game, focusing on girls and women's health, fitness, safety issues, as well as academic success and career opportunities. The Girl Scouts of Monroe County, IU Campus Recreational Sports, the IU women's basketball team, the Indiana Youth Institute, and the IU School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation are all sponsoring the event. Doors open to Assembly Hall at 10:30 a.m. for pre-game activities.
SCOUTING THE FIGHTING ILLINI
Illinois enters Sunday's game with a 6-17 overall record and a 2-10 mark in Big Ten action. The Illini are led by Jenna Smith with 17.9 points per game. She is also averaging 8.4 rebounds per game and has totaled 42 assists, 43 blocked shots and 28 steals on the season. Lacy Simpson is also averaging 10.8 points and a team-best 9.1 rebounds per contest. She has recorded a team-high 79 assists and 77 steals, to go along with 36 blocked shots. Illinois is averaging 51.2 points and 32.7 rebounds per game as a team. From the field, the Illini are shooting 36.9 percent (464-of-1257). They are also shooting 72.7 percent (184-of-253) from the free throw line.
WHAT'S COMING UP
Indiana will host Michigan State in Assembly Hall on Thursday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. on the Big Ten Network, before hitting the road to take on Wisconsin on Monday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. ET, also on the Big Ten Network. The Hoosiers will play their final regular season road game on Feb. 19 at Northwestern at 8 p.m. ET.
IU head coach Felisha Legette-Jack is in her third year at the helm of the Hoosier program with a career mark of 106-98 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 26-32.
NOTES OF INTEREST
Sunday's meeting marks the 56th all-time between the Hoosiers and Illini, with Indiana leading, 30-25.
Senior Whitney Thomas is 10 rebounds away from reaching 1,000 in her career at IU. She is on pace to become only the second player in school history to own 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.
Thomas is also four steals from tying the Indiana all-time steals record of 230, set by Jenny DeMuth. Kim Roberson is also nearing the record as she is six steals from 230 with 224.
IU's RPI ranks 24th in this week's Sagarin Ratings and 33rd in CollegeRPI.com's ranking.
LAST TIME VS. ILLINOIS
Two Hoosiers netted double-digit points, but it wasn't enough as the Indiana women's basketball team fell at Illinois, 61-52, on Sunday, Jan. 25 in Champaign.
Sophomore Jori Davis led the Hoosiers with 14 points, senior Amber Jackson netted 10 points and senior All-America candidate Whitney Thomas grabbed a team-best 11 boards in the effort. Thomas also recorded four steals, two blocked shots and an assist. Senior Kim Roberson also came away with four steals and junior Jamie Braun tallied five assists. Indiana shot just 28.6 percent (18-of-63) from the field, 64-7 percent (11-of-17) from the free throw line and 26.3 percent (5-of-19) from the 3-point line on the night. The Hoosiers matched the Illini in rebounds with 39 each, and grabbed a game-high 20 boards on the offensive glass. Indiana also recorded 12 steals and forced Illinois into committing 21 turnovers.
1,000 DOWN, 10 TO GO
Senior All-America candidate Whitney Thomas recorded her 1,000th career point against Iowa on Jan. 4 and is 10 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 228 assists and 226 steals. Her steals mark ranks her second in the IU record book. She is five steals from breaking 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 66 career blocked shots, which is ranked eighth in IU lore.
A THIEF AMONG US
One of the Big Ten's top defenders has returned to the hardwood for the Hoosiers. Senior Kim Roberson owns 224 career steals, ranking third all-time and six from tying Jenny DeMuth as the all-time leader with 230 steals. Roberson became the sixth active player to reach the 200 steals mark in the Big Ten with two steals at Minnesota on Jan. 8.
HOOSIERS FACE OHIO STATE ON ESPN2 FEB. 22
The Indiana women's basketball team's battle against Ohio State in Assembly Hall on Sunday, Feb. 22 will be aired live on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. ET. IU will Think Pink in its game against the Buckeyes as it continues to raise awareness of the fight against breast cancer. All fans are encouraged to wear pink with the first 1,000 fans receiving pink and white pom-poms. The Hoosiers are currently tied for second place in the Big Ten standings with a 7-2 mark, and are one half-game behind league leader Ohio State. The two teams' first meeting will take place in Columbus on Feb. 1 at 4 p.m., and will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.
BIG TEN TOURNAMENT RETURNS TO THE CIRCLE CITY
The conference will once again return to Indianapolis for the 2009 Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament. 2009 marks the second of a five-year agreement that places both the men's and women's tournaments in the Circle City. This year's tournament will be the eighth straight and 14th overall in Indianapolis and will be held on four consecutive days, March 5-8.
JOIN THE HOOSIERS IN ITALY
Join the Indiana women's basketball team on a tour of Italy as the Hoosiers will play four games against some tough competition as IU travels from Rome to Milan. IU head coach Felisha Legette-Jack and the Hoosiers will leave Bloomington on May 15 and travel to Rome where the nine-day tour will begin. The Hoosiers return from Milan on May 25. The tour package includes round trip airfare from Indianapolis, charter bus for all ground transportation, first class hotel accommodation for nine nights, game tickets to all games, sightseeing tours and a tour escort from Basketball Travelers, Inc. Tour packages are currently being formulated. Check back to IUHoosiers.com for more information as it becomes available.