Rayfield imports seven

Two Canadians highlight the Illinois women''s soccer class of 2004, a seven-player group that includes Urbana forward Ella Masar.

"The combined talents of this recruiting class include speed, height, international experience, composure and a raw determination that will enable them to have an impact immediately," Illinois coach Janet Rayfield said. "These seven young women will come in and challenge our current squad. The exciting part is that our current squad is prepared and excited for the challenge."

Dallas passes boards

EVANSTON – Lesley Owens, you can relax. Your daughter, Cindy Dallas, has stuck her name at the top of Illinois'' career rebounding chart.

Dallas, needing eight re-bounds in Illinois'' game Thursday night at Northwestern to break Jonelle Polk''s 17-year-old record, nabbed exactly that many in the Illini''s 76-52 romp. The clincher came with 1:06 remaining, as Dallas – the only starter on the floor – grabbed Alex Mueller''s miss for No. 934.

Over ''wall,'' Wigley in it for long haul

EVANSTON – Erin Wigley has busted through the dreaded "rookie wall."

Illinois women''s coach Theresa Grentz mentioned recently that Wigley, the team''s starting freshman forward, was fighting to get over the hump that hits many freshmen: The season, they discover, is really long.

Illinois women at Northwestern

Game time, 7 p.m.

Tate: Illini taking steps in right direction

CHAMPAIGN – A revitalized Ron Turner bolstered a listing Illinois football ship on three fronts Wednesday.

First, the UI coach added Top 100 receiver Bryant Creamer of Chicago Simeon as he confirmed 24 signees in the 2004 class.

Spring earns honors

Illinois gymnast Justin Spring was named the NCAA Men''s Gymnast of the Week by Inside Gymnastics Magazine and the Big Ten''s Men''s Gymnast of the Week on Wednesday for his performance last weekend against Ohio State.

Illini Insider

Jeff Huth''s weekly review and preview of Illinois sports:

Leaders in the clubhouse

Here are News-Gazette staff writer Bob Asmussen''s picks for the top three recruiting classes signed by Big Ten schools Wednesday:

UI junior''s already a success, but he wants more

CHAMPAIGN – It appears there is only one obstacle to Brian Glynn joining the list of great wrestlers that dot the Illinois history books.

"I always joke around with Mark (Johnson), ''If I grow 3 more inches, I''m going out for the football team,'' " said Glynn, a 5-foot-10 study in sculpted body mass.

Long wait finally over for Turner

CHAMPAIGN – Bryant Creamer thought he was being funny. Illinois coach Ron Turner wasn''t so sure.

The anxious Illinois coach took a call from The News-Gazette All-State receiver Tuesday night. Creamer was the final player the Illini were waiting on to complete their 2004 recruiting class. Though Turner felt good about his chances with Creamer, coaches never count on a commitment until they hear the decision.