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Illini women open Fahey’s fifth season at home against NC Central

CHAMPAIGN — The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team tips off the season against North Carolina Central at 11 am on Tuesday.

Illinois is looking to improve on a 5-18 record from last season, and Illinois head coach Nancy Fahey wants her program to turn the corner after posting just a 35-78 record in her four seasons at the helm.

Fahey says the Lady Eagles will give her team a lot of different looks.

“Basically runs the kitchen sink at you,” Fahey said. “I’ve never seen so many multiple defense played by one team. They’re athletic. They like to trap, and they like to make the game kind of that crazy feeling, and we’re going to have to be really solid and take care of the basketball.

The Illini struggled to score at times last season, averaging just under 60 points per game. But senior center Eva Rubin says this season should be different on offense.

“The great thing about our offense this year is that we have a lot of guards that can get out and get us easy buckets,” Rubin said, “and then we can come back in the half court and run our offense and feel confident in that now that we have the extra cushion of transition points.”

Tickets and parking are free for Tuesday’s season opener at State Farm Center in Champaign. It’s also being televised on Big Ten Network Plus, a subscription service.

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