The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Illinois women’s basketball begins 5-game home stretch with 32-point victory over Canisius

Senior+guard+Genesis+Bryant+is+running+the+ball+at+point+against+the+Truman+State+defense+on+Oct.+30.
Senior guard Genesis Bryant is running the ball at point against the Truman State defense on Oct. 30.

After a tough loss against Notre Dame, the team had an eight-day break from competition, and Illinois women’s basketball (3-2) returned to Champaign to defeat Canisius 90-58. This is the first time head coach Shauna Green has competed against her alma mater, and she left the matchup content given this big win under her belt.

For the second time this season, the starting lineup included senior guard Genesis Bryant, senior guard Makira Cook, junior guard Adalia McKenzie, junior forward Brynn Shoup-Hill and senior forward Kendall Bostic.

The tipoff was obtained by Illinois, which led to a quick layup by Bostic. Canisius soon responded with a three-point shot to take the lead, and it was clear that they were going to attack Bostic underneath the rim with a double-team defense.

Canisius looked smooth from behind the arc, scoring another three-point shot, bringing the score to 7-6 with an Illinois lead four minutes into the quarter. The Golden Griffins drew their first foul and scored both their free-throw attempts before scoring another three-pointer to give them the lead this time.

McKenzie played tough on defense, getting a steal and drawing a foul in the paint to give her two free-throw attempts. Freshman guard Gretchen Dolan also made a strong appearance in the first quarter, scoring a layup and then a three-point shot, taking after many of her veteran teammates. The quarter ended with a jump-ball possession by Canisius, but a 12-point lead for Illinois.

    Subscribe to our sports newsletter!

    “It’s been great, you know, having everyone that’s older,” Dolan noted. “They’ve been so welcoming and so helpful. Obviously high school to college at any level is a big jump … everyone’s kind of saying something. You know Cook, Dal (McKenzie) and Gen (Bryant), even KB (Bostic) is helpful with me, they’ve been great.”

    The second quarter began with another layup by Dolan, making her the leading scorer with seven points. Bryant soon made herself the second leading scorer with a three-point shot to bring her to six points, increasing the lead to 19. Shortly after, Illinois’ bench went crazy in response to Bostic successfully taking a charge to regain possession.

    The Golden Griffins were forced to take a timeout after another steal by Bostic, making the Illini have six steals in total in the first 14 minutes of the game. At this point they had scored 17 points off turnovers, clearly using these steals to their advantage.

    The first half ended with a missed three-point attempt by Shoup-Hill, but Illinois still had a 19-point lead over Canisius (50-31). The team looked clean and cohesive, a much needed improvement from their last game.

    Bostic started the second half aggressive in the paint, making two shots and two rebounds. McKenzie also had a tough mentality in the paint as well, with four rebounds and 11 points total. With her skillful handles, Bryant made another layup to bring her to 17 points overall with six minutes remaining in the third quarter.

    The Illini played with a quick tempo, hustling back and forth on the court and making the Golden Griffins struggle to keep up with them. The third quarter ended with a near buzzer-beater layup by fifth-year center Camille Hobby, who had racked up 12 points, six rebounds and one block in total.

    With three minutes left of the final quarter, Illinois was up 85-50 against Canisius. While the Illini struggled from the three-point line, only going 3-19 during the entire game, their efforts defensively and their points in the paint were ultimately what got them the victory.

    “When we’re being really, really aggressive, I prefer that and I know that our three’s will fall,” Green said. “3-19 is not a great percentage, obviously, we gotta shoot it better. But I really loved our aggressiveness in which we got to the rim, got to the free-throw line, we haven’t done that in a while so I’m really happy with that.”

    There was much more joy leaving this game, especially being back at the State Farm Center, with four consecutive home games coming the Illini’s way. Their next matchup happens this Wednesday against Central Connecticut State.

     

    @tess_eken

    [email protected]

    More to Discover
    ILLordle: Play now