The Illinois Fighting Illini will host the Iowa Hawkeyes at Assembly Hall on Thursday.
The Illini are coming off of a five-point victory against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 91-86. They had one of their best offensive nights with four players reaching double-digits.
The top three players from the game against Minnesota were junior Amber Moore, senior Karisma Penn, and senior Adrienne GodBold. Penn and GodBold both recorded double-doubles while Penn and Moore both scored over 20 points each in the game.
The Iowa Hawkeyes come into Thursday’s match-up with an overall record of 16-5 and ranked 24th in the nation. They are currently riding a three-game win streak where they beat Purdue, Wisconsin, and Michigan. They are also 5-2 in the Big Ten.
The Hawkeyes have two players averaging double-digit points so far this season. They are seniors Morgan Johnson (15.7 points per game) and Jaime Printy (14.2 points per game).
Both of these players are in the Big Ten’s Top 15 in scoring. Johnson is ranked 8th in the conference while Printy ranks 13th.
As a team, Iowa is in the lower half of the Big Ten in scoring (barely). They are ranked 6th in the conference and are averaging 69.7 points per game.
On the boards, Iowa is led by Morgan Johnson (7.5 rebounds per game), sophomore Samantha Logic (6.3 rebounds per game), and sophomore Bethany Doolittle (5.7 rebounds per game).
Johnson is the Big Ten’s active career leading rebounder. Just like scoring, she ranks 8th in the conference in rebounding this season.
When it comes down to rebounding as a unit, the Hawkeyes are doing okay. They are averaging 39.7 rebounds per game this season. However, they do not out-rebound their opponents by much. They are ranked 7th in the conference in rebounding margin (+2.8).
This will be the 65th meeting between the Fighting Illini and the Hawkeyes. Iowa has won the last eight meetings which included a 69-62 overtime win over the Illini in Iowa last season.
If the Illini showed anything in their last game, it was that they can put the ball in the hoop. Illinois is ranked second in the Big Ten in scoring. They are averaging 72.4 points per game compared to Iowa’s 69.7 points per game.
The player to watch on Thursday for the Illini will be Amber Moore. Yes, Penn and GodBold can score and both will play well against Iowa. However, Moore has looked a little inconsistent this season.
Moore can score and she can also play very well. She proved that in the game against Minnesota. However, she is not scoring 20 points or even double-digits a night. If the Illini want to see success, Moore will need to be confident and show how well she can play every single night.
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