All-Illinois Matchup at Western Hall
The Western Illinois women’s basketball team has gotten off to a 1-1 start in 2019, with an extremely exciting overtime loss to Missouri and a tight, 7-point win over NAIA Culver-Stockton on their record. Tuesday, November 12, they will play host to Division II side, University of Illinois-Springfield.
The Prairie Stars come in with a 2-0 record, with wins coming over Purdue-Northwest and Tiffin College. They, much like the Prairie Stars, have a strong guard corps with sophomore star Lauren Ladowski averaging 14.5 points per game and senior stud Tehya Fortune averaging 14. They also come in with one particularly strong rebounder in 6’2” senior center Katelyn Rosner. The battle between Rosner and WIU center Evan Zars should be a fun one to watch down low.
WIU will counter with strong guard play of their own, as Olivia Kaufmann comes in leading the Leathernecks in scoring with 21.5 points per game. She has also shot an amazing 44% from 3-point range this season, so be on the look out for her from beyond the arch. Danni Nichols has continued her ascension into being one of WIU’s most reliable players as well, as she is averaging 11.5 points per game and put up a very respectable 14 points against a tough Missouri team. Annabel Graettinger continues to be an excellent compliment to Kaufmann, as her hard driving and efficient play have led to her averaging 17.5 points per game. The aforementioned Zars comes in averaging 14.5 rebounds and as stated, will be a load for UIS’ Rosner to deal with.
This should be a sneaky competitive game, though the Leathernecks will be expected to win. Don’t be shocked if the Prairie-Stars take WIU to the brink, as J.D. Gravina has always done a great job of scheduling top-level DII, DIII and NAIA schools to test the Leathernecks when they’re not playing D1 non-conference or Summit League opponents. The game is set for a 5:30 PM tipoff from Western Hall and RJ Larson’s call of the game can be heard live on 104.1 WMQZ, part of the Leatherneck Sports Network.