PREVIEW: #5/5 Ohio State vs. Illinois

 

Feb. 20, 2016

February 17, 2016
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#5/5 Ohio State vs. Illinois

Date: February 21, 2016 | Time: 2:00 p.m. | Venue: Value City Arena | Location: Columbus, Ohio

ONLINE: BTN Plus

Radio: 1460 AM

Online Coverage: Game Notes | Watch Live Live Stats | Twitter Updates |

Setting The Scene

  • Sunday's game against Illinois will be the final game in Value City Arena for seniors Ameryst Alston, Cait Craft and redshirt-junior Kalpana Beach.
  • Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m. ET with Senior Recognition starting just prior.
  • The Buckeyes are riding a season-high 10-game win streak and come into play at 22-4 overall and 14-1 in the conference.
  • Illinois is coming into the game off its second conference victory of the season on Wednesday as it topped Wisconsin 76-56 in Madison. The Ilini are 9-17 overall and 2-13 in B1G action.
  • The game will be streamed live online via BTN Plus.
  • The game can also be heard on ESPN 1460 AM in the Columbus area and on www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

Noting The Buckeyes

  • The Buckeyes are in sole possession of first place in the Big Ten with a 14-1 record.
  • OSU could clinch a share of the B1G regular season title with a win on Sunday coupled with a Maryland loss at Rutgers.
  • Ohio State is on a season-high 10-game win streak which is the longest streak since the 2012 season.
  • Alexa Hart is two blocks away from 200 for her career. She is currently fourth in school-history in career blocks.
  • Kelsey Mitchell has made 215 career three-pointers, which is fifth in school-history. She is one away from tying Brittany Johnson and three away from tying Katie Smith.
  • OSU leads the conference and is third in the country in scoring at 86.2 ppg.
  • The 86.2 ppg puts the Buckeyes on pace to break the school’s single-season scoring record of 83.2 ppg which was set by the program’s only Final Four team of 1992-93.
  • Ohio State is ranked 5th in both polls for the second time this season.
  • The Buckeyes have won 13-straight home games.
  • Alexa Hart is third in the country in shooting percentage at 65.4 percent.
  • Since the start of conference play, Hart leads the conference in shooting percentage at 68.1.
  • Senior Ameryst Alston and sophomore Kelsey Mitchell were each named to the Late-season Wooden Top 20 as well as Naismith Award Semifinalists.
  • Mitchell was also named to the Ann Meyers Drysdale Midseason watch list and the Nancy Lieberman Award Top 10.
  • Mitchell is fifth in the country at 24.2 ppg and Alston is 44th at 18.7 ppg.
  • Alston is now fourth in school-history with 2,048 career points. She is just the sixth Buckeye to reach the 2,000 point milestone.
  • When Mitchell and Alston each score 20 points in a game, the Buckeyes are 21-3, including 11-1 this season.
  • In just over a season and a half, Mitchell is already 19th on OSU’s career scoring chart at 1,503 points.
  • Shayla Cooper has a team-high tying 8 double-doubles this year and has made 13 of her last 19 three-point attempts.
  • The Buckeyes have scored over 90 points 12 times this season and are 12-0 in those games.

Illinois Snapshot                          

  • Illinois comes into Sunday's game fresh off its second Big Ten win of the season as it topped Wisconsin last Wednesday 76-56 in Madison.
  • Both of the Illini's conference victories have come against Wisconsin.
  • Illinois is 9-17 overall on the season and 2-13 in the conference.
  • Four players average in double-figures for the Illini led by center Chatrice White. White is nearly averaging a double-double at 18.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.
  • White has also blocked a team-high 57 shots and leads the team with 41 steals.
  • Cierra Rice is second on the team in scoring at 13.6 ppg while Kyley Simmons is scoring 11.8 ppg while topping the team with 97 assists.
  • Alex Wittinger is the fourth player in double figures at 10.2 ppg as she's just behind White in both rebounds (6.8 rpg) and blocks (42).
  • The Illini are third in the conference in three-pointers per game at 7.8 but are last in the conference in overall shooting percentage at just 40.7.
  • In the team's first meeting on Feb. 1, Illinois made 12 three-pointers.

Series History vs. Illinois

  • The Buckeyes lead the all-time series with Illinois 47-20.
  • Ohio State has won 11 of the last 14 meetings in the series.
  • The Buckeyes dominated the series in the 80s, winning 15-straight from 1982-89.
  • Illinois enjoyed its best run of success against the Buckeyes in the late 90s and early 2000s, winning 9 of 10 contests.
  • The Buckeyes are 17-14 in games played in Champaign after winning the first meeting this season on Feb. 1.
  • In games played in Columbus, the Buckeyes have won 23 of 28 meetings. 

McGuff vs. Illinois

  • Head coach Kevin McGuff is 2-1 against the Illini.
  • He won in Columbus in his first season and then lost last year in Champaign.
  • McGuff and the Buckeyes won 80-70 in Champaign in the team's first meeting this season.

Last Time vs. Illinois

  • Alexa Hart and Ameryst Alston had big nights to lead the No. 7 Buckeyes to a solid 80-70 road victory at Illinois on Feb. 1.
  • Ohio State used an 11-0 run late in the second quarter to build a 9-point halftime lead. Despite the Illini taking a brief lead in the 3rd quarter, the Buckeyes were able to make enough plays down the stretch for the victory.
  • Kelsey Mitchell scored 22 points and passed the 1,400 career point mark.
  • This was Mitchell’s 19th game of 20 or more points this season.
  • Cait Craft went 3-of-6 from three-point range for nine points. She has made six threes in the last two games.
  • Craft recorded her 700th in her career point in the game.
  • Alexa Hart recorded her second-straight double-double and sixth of the year with 18 points and 14 rebounds.
  • Hart swatted a career-high tying eight shots.
  • Hart was 7-of-11 from the floor and is shooting 69.3 percent (61-of-88) in B1G play which is tops in the conference.
  • Ameryst Alston scored a game-high 24 points and dished-out four assists. It was her 11th 20+ point game of the season and the 43rd of her career.
  • Alston was 12-of-12 from the FT line which was the best free throw percentage of her career with 10 or more attempts.
  • Ohio State recorded a season-high 11 blocks
  • This was the 16th time this season the Buckeyes have scored 80 or more points.
  • The team has made a three-pointer in 98-straight games.
  • There were 14 lead changes in the game which was a season-high.