HQ prediction: Colorado 86, UI women 70

HQ prediction: Colorado 86, UI women 70

Sneak peek:

UI women at No. 11 Colorado,
6 p.m. today

Illinois (5-4)

P    Name    Yr.    Ht.    PPG
G    Sarah Hartwell    So.    5-10    10.7
G    Ivory Crawford    Jr.    5-10    13.6
G    Alexis Smith    Jr.    5-9    8.0
G/F    Amber Moore    Sr.    5-11    18.0
C    Jacqui Grant    Fr.    6-3    13.2
C    Sarah Livingston    Fr.    6-2    6.2
G/F    Taylor Tuck    Jr.    6-0    6.1
G    Taylor Gleason    Fr.    5-8    4.7
FYI: With 14 points and 11 rebounds Wednesday against Georgia Tech, Grant recorded her second career double-double.

Colorado (7-0)
P    Name       Yr.    Ht.    PPG
G    Lexy Kresl    Jr.    5-11    11.1
G    Brittany Wilson    Sr.    5-7    11.7
G    Jasmine Sborov    Jr.    6-0    8.7
F    Arielle Roberson    So.    6-1    10.8
C    Rachel Hargis    Sr.    6-4    4.9
G/F    Lauren Huggins    Fr.    6-1    9.1
F    Jamee Swan    So.    6-2    5.6
G/F    Haley Smith    Fr.    6-1    1.0
FYI: Wilson hit three three-pointers Wednesday against Wyoming, moving into sole possession of ninth place on Colorado’s career list with 112.

Site: Coors Events Center (11,064), Boulder, Colo.
Series: Colorado leads 3-2. Last meeting: Colorado 69, Illinois 62 on Dec. 1, 2012, at Champaign.
Internet: Fightingillini.com. Mike Koon (play-by- play) and Ben Taylor (analyst). No radio broadcast.
FYI: A live video stream of the game is available for free at Pac-12.com.

Jeff Huth’s storylines
Don’t read too much into Colorado’s modest four-point victory or far-below-average point total (63) in its last game. The Buffaloes were without leading scorer Jen Reese (concussion) and backup guard Ashley Wilson (shoulder). Even minus those two, Colorado managed to win its 31st straight regular season nonconference game. In the process, the 7-0 Buffs tied their fifth-best start to a season. Meanwhile, the Illini will try to bounce back from a 24-point loss Wednesday at Georgia Tech. After starting the season 4-1, Illinois has lost three of its last four games since moving into the tougher portion of its preconference schedule. The Illini defense has taken a beating in this stretch, permitting an average of 88.0 points in the three losses. Defensive rebounding has been a particular problem, with opponents averaging 21.0 second-chance points in the last three Illini defeats. That’s helped swell the opponent points-in-the-paint average to an off-the-charts 52.0 in those losses.

Colorado 86, Illinois 70

Another in a string of tough assignments for a struggling Illini team. A win seemingly is asking too much against an opponent of the Buffaloes’ caliber, but Illinois needs to start proving it can be more competitive against high majors. Here’s a chance against a team that may not be at full strength but likely will be highly motivated after its 63-59 close call at Wyoming. (N-G prediction record: 8-1)