Illinois women’s basketball continues Big Ten play versus Wisconsin

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Photo courtesy of Della Perrone/Illini Athletics

Guard De’Myla Brown rushes a Missouri opponent on Dec. 22. The Illini will be up against Ohio State on Sunday.

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor

After a quick road trip to Columbus, Ohio, the Illinois women’s basketball team is back at the State Farm Center to face off against the Wisconsin Badgers. The Illini come into their Sunday afternoon matchup with a 5-8 record (0-2 in the B1G) and are looking to get back to winning ways.

Their last game against Ohio State was certainly rough for the Illini, as they dropped the game 69-90. Getting outscored by a combined 28 points in the second and third quarters is not going to win you many basketball games, but the Buckeyes are currently one of the best teams in the Big Ten. 

Although the Illini struggled, Kendall Bostic was the standout performer with 11 points and 16 rebounds, while De’Myla Brown led all scorers for the away team with 13. On the other hand, Ohio State’s Taylor Mikesell had a monster game, scoring 32 points and shooting a blistering 8-14 from downtown. 

Sunday’s game should provide a much different challenge for Illinois with Wisconsin being one of the worst teams in the conference. The Badgers sit at 3-10 (0-3 in the B1G) and lost by 23 points to No. 6 Indiana on Jan. 5. Their wins this season have come against St. Thomas, Boise State and Illinois State.

The Wisconsin attack is led by two junior guards: Julie Pospisilova and Sydney Hilliard. Pospisilova has caused opposing defenses trouble all season with her 14.4 points per game, and Hilliard not only averages 14.1 points per game, but is the team’s leading rebounder at 4.8 per game.

For the Illini to get back in the win column, they’ll need a solid all-around effort on offense to propel them to victory. Illinois are 5-0 in the games where their offense scores at least 70 points, and these points have come from a variety of contributors.

Sophomore guard Aaliyah Nye leads all scorers at 11.1 points per game, while De’Myla Brown (9.8), Jada Peebles (9) and Adalia McKenzie (9) aren’t far behind. Along with a group of scorers, it is important to note that with her 11.8 rebounds per game, Kendall Bostic is leading the Big Ten. 

This game will be the 79th matchup between Illinois and Wisconsin, and the Illini trail the all-time series 38-40. Their most recent meeting came last year in the opening round of the Big Ten tournament, where Illinois was victorious 67-42 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Back at home, the Illini faithful are celebrating the “Pack the House” game, a promotion which includes $1 tickets, $2 hot dogs and free T-shirts for the first 250 fans. So if you arrive early for the 2 p.m. tipoff, you can dawn some free Illini gear and chomp down on a $2 hot dog while watching some women’s Big Ten basketball.

But if you cannot make the game, it will be streamed live on B1G+, and Mike Koon will call the Big Ten matchup from the Busey Bank Illini Sports Network (1400 AM / 93.9 FM).

 

@WillPayne33

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