The Illinois Fighting Illini will play the Ohio State Buckeyes at Assembly Hall on Thursday.
The Fighting Illini defeated the Indiana Hoosiers in their last game, 73-60. Karisma Penn went 10-of-14 from the field and racked up a team-high 26 points for the Illini. She hauled in six rebounds as well.
This game will be the second meeting between Illinois and Ohio State this season. In their first meeting, the Illini beat the Buckeyes, 79-73. Penn recorded a double-double by leading the team in both points and rebounds. She scored 36 points and hauled in 12 rebounds. Illinois also made 30-of-34 free throws in the game.
Ohio State comes into Thursday’s match-up with an overall record of 15-12 and a Big Ten record of 5-9. They are 4-2 in their last six games. They are coming into this match-up after beating the Michigan State Spartans, 67-60.
Ohio State is led on offense by their senior guard Tayler Hill.
She is averaging 21.0 points per game which ranks her 2nd in the conference and 11th in the nation in scoring. In the game against Michigan State, Hill went 4-of-13 from the field, but scored 14 points in the win.
The rebounding leader for the Buckeyes is junior center Ashley Adams.
Adams is averaging an even 7.0 rebounds per game this season. She hauled in only five rebounds in the win over Michigan State.
Adams is also very good defensively this year. She leads the team with 2.5 blocks per game andis 3rd in the Big Ten behind Karisma Penn and Cassie Rochel (Wisconsin).
The game against the Fighting Illini is a big one for the Buckeyes. They are a wild card in the Big Ten’s postseason picture, but still have a chance in making the NCAA Tournament. This is because the Buckeyes finish their schedule with games against Illinois and Michigan.
This will be the 64th meeting between the Fighting Illini and the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes hold the overall advantage in the series 44-19.
Just like the men’s team, the Illinois Fighting Illini are a projected 9th seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Because of this, Thursday’s match-up against Ohio State is a huge one. The Buckeyes are a team that is fighting to stay in the discussion for the NCAA Tournament. However, that window is closing.
If Illinois can play well like they have played as of late, then they should be able to win this game against OSU. Although, anything can happen at this point of the year. For instance, Penn State’s men’s team beat #4 Michigan on Wednesday for their first conference win of the season.
Bottom line, Illinois should win Thursday night’s game.
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