Illinois women’s basketball gears up for final early season home match against Oakland

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Sydney Laput

Sophomore guard Adalia McKenzie gets introduced prior to the game against LIU on Nov. 9.

By Rachel Oh, Staff Writer

Illinois women’s basketball will play against Oakland at State Farm Center on Monday at 7 p.m. to continue on its regular season.

Illinois is off to a great start to the season with a record of 4-0 after beating Evansville this past Saturday. 

Oakland is led by head coach Jeff Tungate and enters Monday’s game with a 2-1 record, having wins over Central Michigan and Akron while suffering a loss at Michigan State. Oakland went 15-15 overall last season.

Illinois head coach Shauna Green spoke in a post game radio interview following the win over Evansville this past Saturday about finding a balance in her team. In the win, the Illini had three players with over 10 points.

“I really don’t care who starts,” Green said. “We have seven, eight kids that could start. That’s what I love most about this, you can’t just take away one person — you can’t take away two people. We have multiple options and I love having that offense and defense with the energy that they bring off of the bench right now.” 

Green also talked about her plan of defense and how she uses positioning as her main strategy. In a team that finished low in the Big Ten standings last year, part of Green’s tenure has been dedicated

“That’s our defense. It’s all about positioning, it’s about being in the gaps and it’s about forcing contested shots,” Green said. 

When asked about what coach Green likes the most about her team, she quickly answered with the “togetherness” the team displays. 

“I feel like this is not my first year with them or our first year together. I feel like we’ve come and gotten very tight and together in a short time,” Green explained. “And when you have that togetherness and when you have that trust, everything else can happen.”

Monday night’s game against Oakland will be the team’s final home match of this early stretch before heading out to Florida next week.

 

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