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MSU Women’s Basketball: Illinois Preview

The Spartans look to rebound against a struggling Illini team.

Suzy Merchant speaks Monday at the Spartan Fund AD Luncheon.
MSU Athletic Department

Michigan State Spartans at Illinois Fighting Illini

Date: Wednesday, February 26th

Time: 8:00 pm EST

Location: State Farm Center, Champaign, IL

2019-20 Record: 11-16 (2-14, 13th in standings)

Head Coach: Nancy Fahey, third season (30-58 record, 4-46 Big Ten)

How To Watch: BTN+ ($$$)
Radio: TuneIn to stream Spartan Sports Radio

Current Season:

The Illini have had a truly awful season thus far. Illinois comes into tonight’s game with just two league wins against Minnesota on January 12 and Penn State on February 9. Overall, Illinois has lost four-straight with their last win coming against Penn State. Illinois is 13th in the league standings ahead of Penn State.

The Illini currently sit 13th in the conference in scoring margin (-8.3), while averaging 62.6 points per game to opponent’s 70.9. This isn’t surprising when accounting for the fact they fall 14th in field goal percentage at 37.6 percent, while holding their opponents to 43.3 percent. The Illini are, however, sixth in the Big Ten in steals with 9.2 per game.

Petra Holesínská leads Illinois in scoring with 13.5 points per game, and is 25th overall in the conference. Holesínská is tied for second in the conference at 3-point field goals made with 2.6 per game, so best not to leave her open on the defensive end. Meanwhile, Kennedi Myles is the team’s leading rebounder and ranks ninth in the conference in rebounding with 7.1 per game in conference play. Myles is also ninth in the league in steals, averaging 1.6 per game in conference.

Illinois is fifth in the conference in three point scoring percentage. They are shooting 34.4 percent from deep, so the Spartan women will need to stay tight on their match-up. As for the MSU roster, Shay Colley recently returned to the floor after a 14 game absence. In the seven games she played in previously this season, she averaged 8.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game.

The then No. 23 Spartans routed Illinois 77-60 in their previous match-up this season back on January 24 at the Breslin Center. MSU leads the overall series with the Illini, 43-28, including winning seven straight. The Illini’s last win against MSU was a 71-62 overtime affair in 2012. Michigan State is 16-16 in Champaign and has won seven in a row on the road against Illinois. Illinois’ last win at home was a 56-46 win in 2007.

Signing Day News

Michigan State women’s basketball head coach Suzy Merchant announced the signing of Kendall Bostic (Kokomo, Indiana/Northwestern High School) to a National Letter of Intent. Bostic is a 6-2 forward who plays for head coach Katie Layden at Northwestern High School in Kokomo, Indiana and AAU basketball for Tony Marlin and the Indiana Flight/Elite. Bostic is ranked No. 16 at her position and No. 67 overall by ESPN HoopGurlz. Last season, Northwestern captured its second consecutive state championship, as Bostic earned State Championship Player of the Game accolades, along with AP First-Team All-State and Co-Player of the Year honors.