HQ forecast: UI women 66, Cleveland State 52

HQ forecast: UI women 66, Cleveland State 52

Beat writer Jeff Huth breaks it down: Cleveland State at UI, 2 p.m. today

The Lineups
Illinois (1-1)
Pos.    Name     Yr.    Ht.    PPG
G     Alexis Smith      So.     5-9     8.0
G     Amber Moore      Jr.     5-11     14.0
G     Ivory Crawford         So.     5-10     14.5
G     McKenzie Piper         Fr.     6-0      7.0
F     Karisma Penn      Sr.     6-2     20.0
FYI: Crawford scored a career-high 18 points Thursday against Bradley, two more than her previous best.
F     Nia Oden      So.     5-10     3.5
F     Taylor Tuck      So.     6-0     9.5

G    Cassie Dumoulin    Jr.    5-8    0.0

Cleveland State (1-1)
Pos.     Name             Yr.     Ht.    PPG
G     Cori Coleman          So.     5-8     11.0
G     Kiersten Green          So.     5-5     1.0
G     Honesty King       Sr.     5-4     9.5
F     Imani Gordon         So.     5-10     6.5
F     Shalonda Winton       Sr.     5-11     23.0
FYI: Starting lineup accounted for more than 65 percent of Vikings’ points and more than 60 percent of rebounds last season for a 12-19 team.
G     Jasmine Flanagan    Fr.     5-5      1.5
F     Kaila Montgomery              Sr.     6-1     3.5
F     Haley Schmitt        Jr.     6-1    1.0

The Details
TV: none
Radio: WDWS 1400-AM, WDAN 1490-AM (Dave Loane (play by play) and Mike Koon (analyst)
Series: Illinois leads 1-0
FYI: Game is available via video stream at www.fightingillin.com/allaccess/media.

Jeff Huth’s storylines
During Illini coach Matt Bollant’s five season at Wisconsin-Green Bay, his Phoenix teams dominated fellow Horizon League member Cleveland State, going 10-2. However, both of the Vikings’ wins during that span came in the teams’ only two meetings in the conference tournament. Cleveland State defeated Green Bay in the 2008 championship game and in the 2010 semifinals. If anyone should have a healthy respect for what coach Kate Peterson Abiad’s Vikings teams are capable of in any given game, it’s Bollant.
Illinois has Karisma Penn. Cleveland State has Shalonda Winton. Keep an eye on this matchup of forwards with similar games and similar impacts. Both are double-double machines. After Thursday night’s 29-point, 16-rebound performance against Bradley, Penn now has 30 career double-doubles. Winton, an All-Horizon League first-teamer and All-Defensive Team pick last season, has 29 for her career. Entering Saturday’s Horizon action, Winton led the conference in scoring and blocks (2.5) and ranked second in rebounding (12.5).
Bollant said Saturday that starting forward Kersten Magrum will be sidelined for at least two weeks. The redshirt junior suffered a separated shoulder Thursday during the second half against Bradley. Magrum had one of the best games of her career against Cleveland State last November, racking up what were then career highs in points (23) and rebounds (7) to propel Illinois to a 72-42 rout. The Vikings’ defense had no answer that day for the Mokena native, who shot 8 of 11 from the field and 7 of 8 from the line. 

Prediction: Illinois 66, Cleveland State 52
There’s no way to sugarcoat Illinois’ last outing, an 83-77 home loss to a Bradley team picked to finish sixth in the 10-team Missouri Valley Conference by the league’s coaches, sports information directors and selected media members. The Illini’s first-half defense (the Braves scored 48 points and shot 62.1 percent) was particularly troubling. Look for Illinois to be highly motivated to make amends today against an opponent picked to finish fifth in the nine-team Horizon League. (N-G prediction record 1-1).


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