The Illinois Fighting Illini will host the Northwestern Wildcats at Assembly Hall on Sunday.
The Illini are coming off of a ten-point victory against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 62-52. They also played their best game defensively as they forced Nebraska to turn the ball over 26 times.
Both senior leaders for the Fighting Illini are coming off of good games against Nebraska. Karisma Penn scored 12 points and hauled in a career-high ten offensive rebounds. Adrienne GodBold went 7-of-14 from the field and led the team in scoring with 19 points.
The Wildcats are currently riding a four game losing streak. They are 0-4 in the conference and lost to #25 Michigan, 53-67, in their last game.
Northwestern still 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 11th in three-point field-goal percentage (.358).
Dannielle Diamant fuels the Wildcats on defense and the boards.
She ranks fifth in the league in rebounding (7.8 rebounds per game) and is seventh in blocked shots (1.4 blocks per game).
Karly Roser has the most assists on the team with 107 assists this season. She is second in the league in assists (6.3 per game).
This will be the 68th meeting between the Fighting Illini and the Wildcats. Northwestern leads the series 34-33.
These two teams last met on January 10th in Evanston, Illinois. The Illini beat the Wildcats, 65-47. GodBold led all scorers with 20 points in the game. Illinois played well defensively as a team. They forced Northwestern to commit 34 turnovers and recorded 24 steals.
Defense will be the key for the Illini in their second game against the Wildcats. They played great defense in the first meeting this season. Northwestern only had one player reach double-digits and that was Hackney (14 points).
Expect the Illini’s “buzz” defense to be just as good (if not better) in Sunday’s game. Illinois seems to be clicking defensively and even showed it in their game against Nebraska where they forced 26 turnovers.
Make sure to follow me on Twitter @RickyWidmer.
Like the us on Facebook at Writing_Illini.