Illini to get back in action against Northwestern

By Dave Fultz

The Illinois women’s basketball team will get back on the court for the first time in a week when the Northwestern Wildcats travel to Champaign this Sunday. The last time the Illini played a game was Jan. 21 when they lost to No. 5 Ohio State by 10 points.

“I’m not big on moral victories, I never have been,” said head coach Theresa Grentz after Wednesday’s team practice. “But certainly we can take some good things from that game. I think the first 10 minutes dictated what we did. We put ourselves down a little bit early and in the second half we played them well. We just have to play strong for 40 minutes.”

The Illini have used the extra time that they have gained from their week-long break between games to better prepare them for the rest of the season.

“At this point in the season, it is a good time to have a week off,” sophomore point guard Lori Bjork said. “People start to get a little worn down and school is starting back up again after break. It has been valuable for us to try and sit down and look at some of the things we need to improve on.”

Northwestern comes into the Sunday matinee contest at the bottom of the Big Ten. In their Thursday night game at No. 12 Purdue, the Wildcats fell to 6-15 remaining winless in the Big Ten as they dropped to 0-8 in conference play.

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The Illini, however, sit in the top half of the Big Ten standings with a 4-3 record in conference play and an impressive 14-5 overall record.

Sunday’s game will also feature the support of the Women’s Basketball Coaching Association for coaches fighting cancer. Illinois joins many other programs across the country that are teaming up with the WBCA in order to promote cancer awareness. The Illini coaches and staff will show their support by wearing pink and hope the fans will get into the spirit of the occasion as well.

“In light of the fact that several of my dear friends in the coaching world have had the unfortunate experience of dealing with breast cancer, I am pleased that Illinois is working with the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association in promoting cancer awareness,” Grentz said. “We encourage all our fans to join us in wearing pink at the game this Sunday at Assembly Hall.”

Pink ribbons will be handed out at the entrances to Assembly hall and the American Cancer Society will be there in hopes of educating fans in cancer prevention.

General admission tickets are only $2 and UIUC students will be admitted for free.