The Nebraska women’s hoops team has recorded four consecutive wins over RPI Top 50 teams. It would have been five if a bad call at the end of the Michigan game did not send it to overtime, where the Huskers could not keep up with the Wolverines. They are 16-6 overall and 7-2 in the Big Ten. The game is Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 7 pm CST at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The next challenge is avoiding a letdown against a Illinois team that has yet to win a Big Ten game this season (9-14; 0-9). Illinois doesn’t do anything particularly well statistically speaking. The only category I could find where they are better than Nebraska is free throw %. They are OK at blocking shots and at not-terrible in collecting offensive rebounds. They are dead last in the conference in scoring margin, rebounding margin, field goal %, assists, and 3-point defense.
Junior forward Alex Wittinger leads Illinois by averaging 14.0 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Wittinger also ranks third in the Big Ten with 64 blocked shots. Wittinger, a three-year starter, is the lone junior in a starting five that features four sophomores, including returning starting point guard Brandi Beasley. The 5-7 sophomore is averaging 12.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and team highs of 3.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
Nebraska owns an 11-5 edge in the all-time series with Illinois, including an 80-72 victory over the Fighting Illini in Champaign on Jan. 10, 2018. Hannah Whitish led four Huskers in double figures with 20 points and a career-high six three-pointers. The Fighting Illini swept a pair of games against the Huskers last season which snapped Nebraska’s six-game winning streak in the series.
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