Illinois Women’s Basketball: Northwestern Game Preview

The Illinois Fighting Illini will travel to Evanston, Illinois to play the Northwestern Wildcats.

The Illini are coming off of a six-point victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes where senior Karisma Penn scored a career-high 34 points.

Northwestern is coming into the game with an overall record of 8-7 and a conference record of 0-2. They lost to the Indiana Hoosiers, 64-68, in their last game.

The Wildcats started the season with a six game win streak. Since starting 6-0, they have won only two of their last nine games. This is their first Big Ten home game of the season. They were one of three Big Ten teams to open conference play with two road games.

November 22, 2011; Baton Rouge, LA; Northwestern Wildcats forward Kendall Hackney (4) hugs guard Allison Mocchi (12) during the second half of a game against the LSU Tigers at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Northwestern defeated LSU 44-43. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Despite having the eighth best scoring offense in the Big Ten, Northwestern has five players averaging double-digits.

These players are sophomore guard Karly Roser (10.6), freshman forward Lauren Douglas (11.3), senior center Dannielle Diamant (12.4), freshman forward Maggie Lyon (13.1), and senior forward Kendall Hackney (14.6).

Hackney ranks 11th in the Big Ten in scoring and 10th in three-point field-goal percentage (.373).

Dannielle Diamant fuels the Wildcats on defense and the boards. She ranks fourth in the league in rebounding (8.3 rebounds per game) and is sixth in blocked shots (1.5 blocks per game).

Karly Roser has the most assists on the team with 97 assists this season. She is second in the league in assists (6.5 per game).

This will be the 67th meeting between the Fighting Illini and the Wildcats. Northwestern leads the series 34-32. The Illini defeated Northwestern, 69-57, in their last meeting.

Senior forward Karisma Penn has been doing it all for the Fighting Illini. She ranks third in scoring and field-goal percentage and leads the Big Ten in rebounding and blocked shots.

According to, Penn is ” the only player in the country to average 20.0 points per game, 10.0 rebounds per game and 2.5 blocks per game.”

There is no reason why the Illini should not win if Penn has a great game against Northwestern.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter @RickyWidmer.

Topics: Basketball, Illinois Fighting Illini, Kendall Hackney, Northwestern Wildcats

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