But first Ohio State (19-5, 10-1 Big Ten) has to get past IL (12-11, 2-8) on Sunday as it wraps up a four-game homestand at Value City Arena. Winning the Big Ten first is another matter. The Fighting Illini actually lost their first eight games in conference before winning their last two in a row against in and Rutgers.
Even one of the most ineffective stretches of basketball all season didn't put the game out of reach.
In addition to concentrating on Mitchell, UW must also turn its attention to redshirt senior forward Stephanie Mavunga, another player who has surpassed the 1,000-point mark, and who is just 19 blocks short of 300 for her career.
Ohio State improved to 20-5 on the season, but Kam Williams made it a lot harder than it had to be.
IL has had a rough go of it this season, featuring a 12-11 record while going just 2-8 in their Big Ten schedule.
The Buckeyes, playing without suspended guard Kam Williams, overcame an IL lead to tie the score at the 5-minute mark. "I like the way we're playing. We've just got to get better and stop shooting ourselves in the foot".More news: Taliban bomber kills 11 soldiers in Pakistan's Swat Valley
The victory moves Penn State's dual meet win streak to 43, dating back to the 2014-15 season. The Buckeyes rattled off 19 consecutive points to close out the half, taking the lead at the 3:12 mark on a layup by Andre Wesson.
IL used its aggressive defense to create offense in the first half of the first half.
After losing six straight, IL has put together back-to-back wins over IN and Rutgers. "We scored. Then all of a sudden we just quit doing it". We could get another high-scoring series this weekend. That's this team's downfall.
"It should be a pretty big hostile environment, so we'll be prepared for anything".
IL jumped out of the gate grabbing a 30-15 lead halfway through the first half, but then they went cold.
"Look at their last game and see that they were up 40 on Rutgers to see how good they could be", Holtmann said. Leron Black is leading IL, who is averaging 14.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. We did get away from that. "That's why they capitalized".More news: Spiders Had Tails 100 Million Years Ago, Fossil Shows
An MSU penalty with 1:45 to go complicated the Spartans' comeback effort and then an empty-net goal with 41 seconds to go sealed the game for OSU.
IL regained the lead in the second half behind Alstork and freshman guard Trent Frazier. The Nittany Lion scored a takedown and four nearfall points in the second to build an 11-4 lead.
"I think it's an experience thing", Bates-Diop said.
To the Illini's credit - and here is where this team has improved since its 25-point loss at Wisconsin on January 19 - they joined the dogfight with teeth bared.
"We have to stop beating ourselves", Jordan said. "It's going to be a pretty insane atmosphere and we just have to be ready to go". We had Nickal in the air and he won the scramble at the edge.More news: Black Panther: The best-reviewed Marvel movie ever made