Following a 23-point defeat to the Indiana Hoosiers on Jan. 5, Marisa Moseley’s Wisconsin squad (3-10, 0-3 Big Ten) faces off against another conference rival, the Fighting Illini (5-8, 0-2 Big Ten), in Illinois Jan. 9.

The two last met on March 9, 2021, where the Illini dominated the Badgers 67-42. With a 15-9 mark since 2002 and 6-4 record in their last 10 matches, UW will look to build on their track record vs. the orange and blue on Sunday afternoon.

Led by fifth-year head coach Nancy Fahey — the anchor of 5 Division III National Championships and 29 NCAA Tournament appearances during her tenure at Washington University — the Illini’s 2020-21 squad went 5-18. But the team did manage to secure a first-round conference tournament victory against the Badgers.

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Through 13 games this season, Illinois manages 65.4 points off a sub-par 41.1% efficiency from the field and a 32.8% split from behind-the-arc. The Illini snatch 38.1 boards, total 14.8 points off turnovers and generate 7.3 swipes per bout.

At the opposite end of the hardwood, UW registers 60 points per contest off 41% from the field and 30.7% from outside. The Badgers force 7.1 steals, chalk up 11.1 tallies off turnovers and snag 31.6 rebounds per match, ranking 339 of 348 qualified programs in the NCAA. Moseley’s group also takes care of the rock, landing in the top-third of programs in the nation with 15 giveaways per outing.

Through 35.4 minutes per game over 11 appearances, junior Julie Pospíšilová puts up 14.5 tallies, 3.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game. The versatile guard accounts for 70 three-point attempts as well — 24 more than any other Badger.

After Wednesday’s meeting with Indiana, UW star Sydney Hilliard maintained the top spot in field-goal percentage among guards in the country with a stellar 56.35% clip from the floor. With 488 total minutes logged so far, point guard Katie Nelson leads UW with 44 dimes, and forward Sara Stapleton earns 7.1 points and shoots 47.8% from the field per game.

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Illini names to monitor:

Sophomore Aaliyah Nye, who led the 2020-21 team in three-point shooting as a freshman, notches 11.1 points and 3.5 boards over 29 minutes per contest. In 13 total appearances, the 5-foot-11-inch guard has already eclipsed her three-point attempt total from last season with 78 launches from outside, so Hilliard and Pospíšilová will need to avoid unnecessary fouls on the perimeter.

Responsible for a team-leading 153 boards, sophomore forward Kendall Bostic racks up 6.8 points off 46.5% from the field and denies nearly one shot attempt per bout. Alongside Nye and Bostic, guard Jada Peebles adds nine scores off a 39.4% mark from the hardwood. The junior also leads the Illini with 34 assists through 13 games.

Though Moseley’s Badgers remain in the bottom of the conference for their overall record, UW could take advantage of a few Illini faults on Sunday afternoon. Illinois turns it over a staggering 19.3 times per contest, so if Wisconsin can snatch a few extra loose balls and play with discipline on the defensive end, the red and white could add to their favorable record against a shaky Big Ten foe in Champaign this weekend.