Illinois Women’s Basketball: Illinois State Game Preview


The Illinois Fighting Illini will host the Illinois State Redbirds this Friday. In their last game, the Illini won at Assembly Hall against the Oregon Ducks.

This game against the Redbirds will be Illinois’ second out of four straight games at Assembly Hall.

Illinois State is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference. They finished second in the MVC last season with a conference record of 13-5.

Currently, the Redbirds are 6-4 this season.

The two biggest players for Illinois State this season are transfers Jamie Russell and Janae Smith. Russell transferred from Wisconsin and sat out the 2010-11 season while Smith transferred from College of Charleston and sat out last season as well.

So far, Russell and Smith lead the team in scoring as Smith is averaging 15.8 points per game and Russell is averaging 14.2 points per game.

Russell also leads the Redbirds in steals with 26 steals and is second on the team in assists with 36 assists.

Smith is also ISU’s leading rebounder. She is averaging 9.0 rebounds per game this season.

This will be the 36th meeting between the Fighting Illini and the Redbirds. Illinois currently leads the series 21-14. In their last meeting, Illinois never trailed on the road and defeated Illinois State, 66-56.

Just like their last meeting, this game should be a “piece of cake” for the Illinois Fighting Illini. So far this season, the Illini are averaging 74.2 points per game (leads the Big Ten).Karisma Pennshould be able to get going early in this game.

Penn is nearly averaging a double-double on the season (18.9 points and 9.6 rebounds per game).

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Tags: Basketball Illinois Fighting Illini Illinois State Redbirds Jamie Russell Janae Smith