UI women at Oakland, 5:30 p.m. Wednesday
P Name HT. YR. PPG
G Anna Patritto 5-10 Sr. 5.1
G Elizabeth Hamlet 5-10 Fr. 5.7
G Sharise Calhoun 5-5 Jr. 12.0
C Brittany Carnago 6-3 Jr. 6.5
F Bethany Watterworth 5-11 So. 18.1
G Malika Glover 5-5 Fr. 6.0
G Brittney Nelson 6-0 So. 6.0
G Zakiya Minifee 5-9 Fr. 5.6
P Name HT. YR. PPG
G Centrese McGee 5-8 Fr. 7.5
G Lydia McCully 5-9 So. 9.0
G Eboni Mitchell 5-7 Jr. 5.3
C Karisma Penn 6-2 So. 15.4
F Lana Rukavina 6-3 Jr. 6.1
G Adrienne GodBold 5-11 So. 6.3
G Macie Blinn 5-11 Jr. 6.0
G Alexis Burke 5-11 Fr. 9.4
FACTS & FIGURES
Site: Athletics Center O'Rena, Rochester, Mich.
Radio: Tape-delayed on WDWS 1400-AM and WDAN 1490-AM.
Series: Illinois won the only matchup, 64-50, last November at the Assembly Hall. Jenna Smith had 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Illini, who led by five points at the half.
Coaches: Beckie Francis (191-115 in 11th season at Oakland; 222-163 in 14th season overall); Jolette Law (53-56 in fourth season at Illinois and overall).
Time for a break
The Illini's recent stretch of heavy action ends Wednesday night. Having traveled nearly 11,000 miles since late November, the Illini will not play again for 10 days after they finish with the Golden Grizzlies. After completing final exams, the Illini will take on Illinois-Chicago on Dec. 18 at the United Center. A victory Wednesday night and another against the Flames would give Illinois a three-game winning streak heading into two rugged games – at Marquette and at home against Cal – to complete their nonconference schedule.
The Golden Grizzlies are picked to finish third in the Summit League. BETHANY WATTERWORTH is a first-team all-league pick, though she struggled mightily (2 for 13) against the Illini last season. Oakland has lost to Detroit and Bowling Green, but it is an overtime loss at home against Penn State that should make the Illini take notice. The Grizzlies led by 14 at one point, and the Nittany Lions needed a bucket with eight seconds left to force overtime. SHARISE CALHOUN scored 25 and Watterworth 23 against Penn State.
Saturday's win against Colorado represented the best stretch of productivity for ADRIENNE GodBOLD since she returned from a suspension Nov. 27. She had 12 points and six rebounds in 27 minutes against the Buffaloes. "She's still trying to get in a rhythm," coach JOLETTE LAW said recently. "As the games go on, she'll get better. She's all about doing what (she) can do for this team." GodBold remains a backup at this point, as her ability to add energy off the bench is an appealing part of the UI's mixture. "She brings a spark," Law said.
ILLINOIS 62, OAKLAND 56
The Illini should be encouraged by the victory at Colorado, even if it came against the team picked to finish last in the Big 12. A road win is a road win, after all. And the Illini showed some gumption in holding off the surging Buffaloes in the final three minutes. They'll need a similar effort Wednesday night because the Grizzlies are no doubt eager to claim a Big Ten scalp. They haven't knocked off a Big Ten school since 2004 (Michigan), but they have seven wins all time against the conference. (News-Gazette prediction record: 6-2)