Game Notes | Illini Set for Thursday Matchup vs. Purdue

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The University of Illinois has adopted a proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test protocol for all university-sponsored public events with more than 200 participants. This policy applies to the women’s basketball game between Illinois and Purdue on Thursday at the State Farm Center. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

PREVIEW

opening tip
The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team opens a two-game home stand this week with a Thursday matchup against Purdue.
» Tipoff between the Fighting Illini (6-9, 1-3 B1G) and the visiting Boilermakers (11-6, 2-4 B1G) is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT at the State Farm Center.
» The game will be streamed live on B1G+ with Anthony Pasquale (Play-by-Play), George Khouri (Analyst).
» Mike Koon will be calling the action for the Illini on the Busey Bank Illini Sports Network (2pm / 93.9 FM).
» Streaming audio and live stats are also available on FightingIllini.com.
» Thursday’s game marks the Illinois head coach’s 1,000th Hall of Fame career Nancy Fahey, which is recognized before the tip.

About the Ilini
Illinois goes into Thursday’s game against Purdue with an overall record of 6-9 (1-3 B1G) and will be looking for its second straight Big Ten home win and second straight home win over Purdue.
» The Illini are 6-3 at home, most recently after a dominant 68-47 win over Wisconsin on Jan. 9.
» The team is 0-6 away from home, including two losses on neutral ground during November’s Daytona Beach Invitational.
» The Illini started the season offensively with an improved scoring average from the previous season. In 15 games, the Illini have averaged 66.0 points per game, an improvement of more than six points per game from last year’s season average of 59.6 ppg.
» Illinois goes into Thursday’s matchup against Purdue with a 5-1 lead in games where the Illini offense scores at least 70 points.
» Top scorer sophomore G Aaliyah Nye, is averaging 11.7 ppg, an improvement of nearly four points per game over their freshman campaign (8.1 ppg).
» Nye is joined by Junior G De’Myla Brown in double-digit scoring for the Illini, averaging 10.2 points per game.
» Behind Nye and Brown, the Illini’s offensive attack was balanced with seven other players who scored at least a double-digit point game and two more – Adalia McKenzie (9.0) and Jada Peebles (8.9) – Entry into Action vs. Purdue averages better than 8.0 ppg.
» Second F Kendall Bostic is the top rebounder in the Big Ten Conference and comes into play this week in fifth national ranking with 12.07 rebounds per game.

About Purdue
Purdue goes into Thursday’s game with an overall record of 11-6 (2-4 B1G) and is coming off a 73-68 home loss to No. 6/5 Indiana on Sunday (Jan. 16).
» The Boilermakers were an impressive 9-2 in an out-of-conference game, including a 66-61 win on the neutral side over No. 17-22 Florida State in the St. Pete Showcase.
» In Big Ten play, Purdue opened on December 5 and 8, respectively, with losses to #18/20 Ohio State (70-53) and #8/7 Maryland (86-71). They then posted a home win over Rutgers (60-58) on January 2, followed by an away win at Michigan State (69-59) on January 9, before beating Iowa (79-66) and Indiana (73-68) last week.
» Purdue is going 3-1 this year with wins in Western Kentucky (79-69), Illinois State (76-64) and Michigan State (69-59). Her only road loss came on December 8 at No. 8/7 Maryland (86-71).
» Purdue is led by sophomore G Madison Layden who averages 12.7 ppg. Layden is one of three Boilermakers averaging double-digit points, along with sophomore C Ra Shaya Kyle (11.0 ppg), who has missed the last eight games with a leg injury, and junior G Abbey Ellis (11.0 ppg). A pair of senior guards, Brooke Moore and Cassidy Hardin, are in close to double digits at 9.9 ppg and 9.8 ppg, respectively.
Ra Shaya Kyle also led the Boilermakers in rebounding at 5.7 rpg prior to her injury, ranking just ahead of the former Illini Jeanae Terry (5.6 rpg) and Junior F Rickie Woltman (5.2 rpg).
» Head Coach Katie Gearlds, a Purdue graduate (’07), is leading the program in her first season, having previously served as Head Coach at NAIA institution Marian (IN) for eight seasons.

Series against Purdue
Thursday’s game against Purdue marks the 82nd in the series between the Illini and the Boilermakers and is the first of two matchups scheduled for this season.
» The series is the second longest running in Illinois programming history, trailing only one game behind Illinois-Northwestern.
» Illinois Trails in All-Time Series, 19-62. The Illini are 13-24 in games played at Champaign while posting a 5-33 record at West Lafayette and a 1-5 mark in neutral site competitions.
» The programs shared a pair of encounters last season that were decided by a total of just 9 points.
» Illinois achieved an exciting 54-49 home win on February 7, 2021 Aaliyah Nye took eight points – all in the final 6:02 – including a clutch three-pointer that gave the Illini the final lead with 41 seconds left.
» Purdue held a late comeback on February 28, 2021 in West Lafayette. The Illini erased a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter to end the game with 2:21 left and had a chance to take the lead Jada Peebles Three-point attempt with 10 seconds remaining before the Boilermakers sealed victory at the free-throw line.

1K for Coach Fahey
Nancy Fahey will be in her 1,000th college game practice when the Illini tap into Purdue on Thursday. The Hall of Fame head coach is recognized before the tippoff against the Boilermakers at the State Farm Center.
» Fahey goes into Thursday’s game with a career-record 778-221 (.779) in her 36th season as a collegiate head coach.
» She becomes the 51st coach in NCAA history (24th active coach in all NCAA divisions) to coach more than 1,000 games.
» With 5,841 women’s basketball coaches in the NCAA record database, Fahey’s reaching 1,000 games is a milestone reached by only 0.8 percent of coaches in the sport’s history.
Fahey led WashU in 870 competitions, including five record-setting national championships, in her 31 years at the helm of the Bears program. She has now coached in 129 games in Illinois starting Thursday.
» Fahey is one of two coaches with ties to Illini to have reached 1,000 career games and joins Theresa Grentz who coached 366 of her 1,043 career games for Orange and Blue.

Next
The Fighting Illini close out the two-game home stand of the week and welcome Nebraska to a Sunday afternoon tilt at State Farm Center.
» Tipoff between the Illini and the visiting Cornhuskers is scheduled for 2:00 PM CT.
» Nebraska, earning votes in USA Today/WBCA Coaches’ top 25 poll, goes into play this week 13-4 (2-4 B1G).
» The Huskers host Rutgers Thursday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Neb.

Follow the Ilini
For more Fighting Illini women’s basketball news, visit FightingIllini.com and follow @IlliniWBB on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook.

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