Game hints | Illinois hosts North Carolina Central in the opener



Opening tip
The Fighting Illinois women’s basketball program opens its 48th season on Tuesday and welcomes MEAC enemy North Carolina Central to the State Farm Center. The departure between the Illinois and Eagles is scheduled for 11 a.m. CT. The game will be streamed live on B1G + with Scott Beatty (play-by-play), Andre Thomas (color) and George Khouri (sideline). Mike Koon will be calling action for the Illinois on the Busey Bank straight sports network (1400 AM / 97.5 FM). Streaming audio and live statistics are also available on

Via North Carolina Central
North Carolina Central enters the 2021-22 season with a 4-12 mark in a 2020-21 season shortened by COVID-19. The Eagles set a 2-6 record in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), finishing third in the southern division and fifth overall. North Carolina Central has eight newcomers to the squad this season, including four transfers from Division I. Necole Hope in fifth year is the team’s best returnee. Hope was selected to prepare the third All-MEAC team after averaging 10.1 points per game last season. Sophomore Guard Paris McBride is the team’s best rebounder (4.1 RPG) and led the team with 44 assists last season. NCCU is led by Trisha Stafford-Odom and enters her fifth season at the helm of the program.

Series against North Carolina Central
The season opener on Tuesday is also the first in the series between the Fightinglassung and the Eagles.

Illinois from North Carolina
The Fighting Illinois roster includes two players with North Carolina ties in the junior guard Jada Peebles and novice forward Keanna Rembert both of whom are from Raleigh, NC, and attended high schools, both about 25 miles from NC Central campus. The Illinois leading recurring goalscorer, Peebles, signed with the Illinois after a stellar career at Wakefield High School. Rembert also signed with the Illinois from Raleigh, where she graduated from Millbrook High School Class in 2021 Hernando Planells spent seven years in Durham, NC, on the coaching staff at Duke University, less than five miles from NC Central.

The Fighting Illinois return to the State Farm Center on Sunday afternoon to meet Miami, OH. The tipoff between the Fighting Illinois and the RedHawks is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT.


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