staff, February 16, 2012

It?s been an up-and-down season for the Illini, but when they do it up, they do it up big. With Karisma Penn providing a monster presence inside, Illinois upended tenth-ranked Ohio State last weekend for one of the biggest upsets in the Big Ten this season. Basketball analyst and writer Patricia Babcock McGraw talked to Penn in her latest Gimme 5 audio segment. Jump down in this post to read and hear more.

Penn scored 11 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and also finished with 2 steals and 2 blocks while logging all 40 minutes for the Illini. Earlier last week, she also guided the Illini to a win over Indiana, finishing with 23 points, 7 rebounds, 6 blocks and 6 steals while again playing all 40 minutes.

For her efforts in the Ohio State and Indiana games, Penn was named the Big Ten co-player of the week. The honor is the fourth of her career, which has been stuck on full-speed-ahead since she stepped foot on campus. Find out how Penn gets through the grind of a Big Ten season, how she is trying to become the best post player in the league, what it was like growing up in a family with five kids and how she keeps it "old school" in her free time.

Listen to our Q&A here:

Read Penn's full bio at