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 upsets No. 14 Indiana with huge 20-point victory

Jacoby Banks-Hull
Junior guard Adalia McKenzie starts an offensive drive against Maryland’s defense on Feb. 11

The Illini made their way back to the State Farm Center for an afternoon matchup against the No. 14 Indiana Hoosiers and put up one of their best games of the season. All six players who played scored double-figures, ultimately leading to a massive top-25 win.

The starting five lineup remained the same as it has been. Senior guard Genesis Bryant, senior guard Makira Cook, junior guard Adalia McKenzie, fifth-year center Camille Hobby and senior forward Kendall Bostic took to the floor for their 13th start together.

Indiana began with the ball and got it inside for a quick shot. Once the ball got back to Illinois’ side, Bryant sank a three-pointer to get the team going. Soon after, Hobby picked up an offensive rebound and sank a clean floater to maintain the lead.

The Hoosiers’ defense came out strong, but the Illini had open looks that fell in their favor, starting 6-4 from the field. Five minutes into the game, the Hoosiers sank a three-pointer to give them the lead, 11-9. Indiana continued to go on a 9-0 scoring run, but Cook finally broke Illinois’ scoring drought with another smooth floater.

Indiana had taken its star player, Mackenzie Holmes out of the game, and with that, Illinois went on a 7-0 run to retake the lead. At the end of the first quarter, Bryant scored a contested shot, and the team led 18-17 going into the second quarter.

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The second quarter began with two turnovers from Indiana and two successful shots from Illinois. Freshman guard Gretchen Dolan drove to the hoop for some points of her own, helping to steady the lead. The team reached their largest lead four minutes into the second quarter, ahead 32-24. 

Illinois’ success was due to the efforts of all players on the floor — each player was contributing points and playing aggressively to assert their dominance over Indiana. Illinois went on an 18-2 run and held Indiana to 11 points in the second quarter. 

At the half, the Illini led 44-28 while shooting 61% from the field, while the Hoosiers only shot 38%. Additionally, Indiana turned the ball over seven times, in contrast to Illinois, which only turned the ball over twice. 

Indiana came out the half hot with a three-pointer and layup to get things started again. Head coach Shauna Green grew frustrated with the offensive boards Indiana was picking up and the lack of defense by Illinois inside the paint. 

Despite the slower start to the half, the team started to heat up. The crowd erupted in cheers after a three-pointer from Cook, returning to a 16-point lead. 

While the Illini were exceeding in the third, the Hoosiers were also getting back on their feet. After only making one three-pointer in the first half, they sank three in the third quarter alone. 

Coming out of a media timeout, Illinois scored back-to-back three-pointers to get back to a lead of 16 again. The team slowed things down to end the third quarter and went into the final 10 minutes leading 61-47.

Another three-pointer from Indiana kicked off the fourth quarter, followed by two free throws from Hobby to steady the lead. The Illini drew a fourth foul on Holmes with 8:47 to go in the game, but she remained on the court. 

With plenty of time to go, Indiana cut the lead to nine points, urging Green to call a timeout. Indiana implemented a full-court press, intensifying its defense in the final six minutes. However, Illinois also stepped up its defense, and the crowd was on its feet cheering in excitement after the team forced a shot clock violation call. 

The State Farm Center got back on its feet for the last minute and a half of play, thrilled that the Illini had a 14-point lead with such little time for the Hoosiers to make a comeback. The team’s efforts paid off, and the game concluded with Illinois on top 86-66.



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Tess Eken
Tess Eken, Assistant Sports Editor
Hi everyone! My name is Tess and I’m currently a junior studying communications with a minor in Spanish. I joined The Daily Illini because I wanted to combine my love for sports with my love for writing, so I get the best of both worlds here! Outside of journalism, I love baking and spending time with my friends and family. If you have any questions or just want to talk sports with me, feel free to email me using the button below. I-L-L!
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