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This Week in Illini Athletics: Nov. 15-21, 2021

Illinois basketball is back.

Arkansas State v Illinois Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Welcome to “This Week in Illini Athletics,” a weekly review of the past week of Illini sports and a preview of the week to come.

FOOTBALL (4-6 Overall, 3-4 Big Ten)

This Week: After their final bye week, the Illini return to action at #20 Iowa at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

MEN’S BASKETBALL (2-0 Overall, 0-0 Big Ten)

Last Week: #11 Illinois won both of its games in the opening week of the college basketball season. Despite missing Kofi Cockburn, Andre Curbelo, and Trent Frazier, the Illini won handily in the season opener on Tuesday, defeating Jackson State 71-47 behind 20 points from Jacob Grandison. Curbelo and Frazier returned from injuries on Friday and helped lead Illinois to an even more decisive victory, as the Illini clobbered Arkansas State 92-53. Coleman Hawkins starred in the win, finishing with 17 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, and 4 blocks.

This Week: The Illini travel to Marquette for the Gavitt Tipoff Games tonight at 6 in their lone game this week.

WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL (17-10 Overall, 9-7 Big Ten)

Last Week: The 25th-ranked Illini played in a pair of sweeps this week, winning one and losing one. First, Illinois dominated Indiana on Friday, holding the Hoosiers to 46 total points in a three-set victory. Sophomore Raina Terry led the Illini with 20 kills in the match. Against #10 Ohio State on Sunday, the Illini played two sets very close, losing the first and third 27-25 and 25-23, respectively. Illinois couldn’t quite win either though as it fell in three sets to the Buckeyes.

This Week: Illinois heads to Indiana for a Friday evening matchup at 6 before coming home to face Maryland on Sunday at noon for Senior Night.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL (2-0 Overall, 0-0 Big Ten)

Last Week: The Illini opened up their season with a pair of non-conference wins at State Farm Center. First, Illinois defeated North Carolina Central 73-56 on Tuesday. Sophomore Aliyah Nye led the team with 23 points, and Michigan State transfer Kendall Bostic chipped in 14 points and 17 rebounds. On Sunday, the Illini pulled out a close one against Miami (OH). The scoring was balanced in the winning effort, with four Illini finishing in double figures.

This Week: Illinois hosts two more non-conference games this week. SIUE comes to town for a 7 p.m. tip on Thursday, and the Illini finish the homestand against UC Riverside on Sunday afternoon at 2.

MEN’S and WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY

Last Week: Both Illini teams placed fifth at the NCAA Midwest Regional on Friday, but neither team qualified for the NCAA Championships. Senior Jon Davis was the lone Illini to qualify for the NCAA Championships as he finished in second (30:21.70) at the regional. Junior Olivia Howell paced the Illini, finishing in 24th with a time of 21:17.80. This marks the end of the season for Illini women’s cross country.

This Week: Jon Davis will run in the NCAA Championships as an individual in Tallahassee on Saturday.

WRESTLING (0-0 Overall, 0-0 Big Ten)

Last Week: Due to COVID-19 issues within the program, Illinois withdrew from the Mountaineer Invitational this weekend.

This Week: The Illini wrestle next at the Lindenwood Open on Saturday.

WOMEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING (4-2 Overall, 0-1 Big Ten)

This Week: Illinois heads to Indianapolis this weekend for the House of Champions Invitational from Thursday to Saturday.