CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Seven Illinois women’s basketball players tested positive for COVID-19 last week, forcing the team to go on a post Christmas break pause of sorts. The team is back together now and was still able to practice with six players but had to postpone two Big Ten games against Maryland and Iowa, after not hitting the seven player minimum to take the court, per updated conference rules released last week.

“A lot of ups and downs honestly, just not knowing what’s going to happen, when we’re going to play, how we’re going to practice, how things are going to go but it’s good to be back on a schedule,” Illinois junior guard Jada Peebles said.

“It’s good to have them all back, we’re still trying to get back into that shape,” Illinois head coach Nancy Fahey said. “There’s nothing can replace just playing and missing two games so they’re ready to play, that’s for sure.”

The Illini (5-7, 0-1) return to the court Thursday at Ohio State in a 6 p.m. tip in Columbus.