Illinois women’s basketball to host No. 7 Ohio State

Illinois+Chatrice+White+takes+a+jump+shot+during+the+game+against+Penn+State+at+the+State+Farm+Center+on+January+23.+The+Illini+lost+65-56.

Austin Yattoni | The Daily Illin

Illinois’ Chatrice White takes a jump shot during the game against Penn State at the State Farm Center on January 23. The Illini lost 65-56.

By Matt Gertsmeier, Staff writer

For the first time in over a month, the Illinois women’s basketball team is taking on a ranked opponent. The Illini (8-12, 1-8) host No. 7 Ohio State (16-4, 8-1) at the State Farm Center.

The Buckeyes are 12-1 in their last 13 games while the Illini are 2-11. Ohio State has been dominant on the offensive end, which will pose a threat against Illinois’ struggling defense.

Ohio State is top-five in the Big Ten in points per game, free-throw percentage, field goal percentage and three-point percentage. Ohio State is led by guards Kelsey Mitchell and Ameryst Alston. Mitchell leads the Big Ten averaging about 25 points a game and Alston averages 18. Along with Mitchell and Alston, two other players are averaging double figures.

In its last 10 games, Illinois is allowing about 74 points a game. Illinois is also giving up about 40 rebounds a game. Illinois has been outrebounded six times in its last 10 games. Ohio State has eight players over six feet tall. The Buckeyes average about 37 rebounds a game.

The one glimmer of hope for Illinois is Ohio State’s road record. The Buckeyes are 4-3 on the road. The Illini is 8-5 at home. Illinois heads to Columbus on Feb. 21, where Ohio State has lost once.

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    If Illinois will want to pull of the upset, it will have to rely on its bigs. Center Chatrice White is averaging 15 points and about 10 rebounds in conference games and forward Alex Wittinger is averaging 12 points and about seven rebounds. Wittinger scored 27 points and snagged 15 rebounds in Illinois’ last game against Minnesota. White and Wittinger combined are averaging about 17 rebounds per conference game.

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