The Illinois Fighting Illini will host the #14 Purdue Boilermakers in their first Big Ten Conference game of the year.
This game against the Boilermakers will be the last of four consecutive games at Assembly Hall for the Illini.
Purdue will come into the game with an overall record of 11-2. They are currently tied for second in the Big Ten and ranked #14 in the nation. This will be their first conference game as well.
The 11-2 start for the Boilermakers is their best since the 2002-03 season. Both of their losses this season have been to ranked opponents. In their last game, Purdue got demolished by #5 Notre Dame, 74-47.
There are four players on the Boilermakers that are averaging over 8.5 points per game. The three players averaging double-digit points for Purdue are junior guard Courtney Moses, junior guard KK Houser, and graduate student Drey Mingo.
Moses leads the team with 12.9 points per game. Houser is averaging 11.8 points per game and Mingo is averaging 11.5 points per game.
On the boards, the Boilermakers are led by senior forward Sam Ostarello. She leads the team with 113 rebounds this season and is averaging 8.7 boards per contest this season.
Another rebounder for Purdue is Drey Mingo who is second on the team with 6.6 rebounds per game.
This will be the 66th meeting between the Fighting Illini and the Boilermakers. Purdue has won the last three games in this series and leads the Illini 48-17 overall. In their last meeting, Purdue beat Illinois, 77-66.
The Fighting Illini are looking to defeat their third straight ranked opponent on Wednesday. They are coming into this game with two consecutive wins over #10 Ohio State (last season) and the #6 Georgia Lady Bulldogs.
Senior forward Karisma Penn has been playing very well for the Illini so far this season. She was named espnW national player of the week and Big Ten player of the week this past Monday. In the team’s underdog win over Georgia, she recorded a double-double with 27 points and 19 rebounds.
She will need to be on her game again if the Illini want to upset the Boilermakers.
Make sure to follow me on Twitter @RickyWidmer.