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

Notes, player grades from Illinois women’s basketball victory over Missouri State

Olivia McAfoos
Junior guard Adalia McKenzie and Senior guard #1 Genesis Bryant ready to make a quick stop against the Lady bears on Thursday.

Exactly two weeks ago, Illinois fell short of Maryland in the Big Ten tournament. Tonight, it turned things around with a first-round win against Missouri State at the Women’s Basketball Invitation Tournament. Despite a rocky start to the game, the Illini battled back to finish five points ahead of the Lady Bears and will remain in Champaign for the second round of the WBIT this Sunday to face off against the Stony Brook Seawolves.

Fixing their mistakes to come out strong in the second half.

This season has been a roller coaster for the Illini. Tonight’s game put them back at 0.500 on the season, and if they keep fighting back like they did tonight, they have a good chance of making it far in the tournament. The Illini got out-scored and out-rebounded in the first half, and head coach Shauna Green was not going to accept this.

Adjusting the offensive work and defensive abilities, Illinois flipped the switch and took over in the third quarter, out-scoring Missouri State by nine points. The team shot 57% in the second half compared to their 42% in the first half demonstrating that sometimes all they need is a 15-minute break to fire things back up.

Illinois’ starting five players are indicated with *.

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*Genesis Bryant (B)

The senior guard played 37 minutes over the evening, recording 14 points on 4-7 shooting and 3-4 from the charity stripe. Bryant also posted a rebound, an assist and a steal. However, she turned the ball over five times — a team-high. However, her experience played a key part in the Illini comeback in the third quarter and should be key on Sunday.

*Makira Cook (A)

Cook dominated tonight, finishing with 27 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals. She wanted to demonstrate that her time at Illinois is nothing short of impressive, especially right after she announced that she would be coming back to the Illini for the 2024-25 season. Her shots looked clean and her effort was maximized for the entire duration of the game. One thing to note is that when Cook gets on a roll, she’s unstoppable.

*Adalia McKenzie (A)

McKenzie started her night off rough, going 2-8 from the field and turning the ball over twice. After the half, the McKenzie that fans are used to seeing came out hungrier than ever. In the third quarter alone, she scored 10 points and went 5-6 from the field. She finished the night with 21 points total, 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals. Tonight’s matchup led to her reaching 1,000 career points and hopefully, she’ll add even more to it this Sunday.

*Camille Hobby (B-)

The fifth-year center Hobby played 23 minutes on the evening, recording eight points, three rebounds and two steals. She got into some foul trouble with three personal fouls. She made a few key shots in the game and played tight defense while having to face a few mismatches with Lacy Stokes, who was stellar for the Lady Bears.

*Kendall Bostic  (C+)

The senior forward Bostic struggled from the field, but was an absolute machine on the glass. Bostic recorded 17 rebounds and three assists to go along with a block, leading the defensive effort for the Illini in the big post-season win. Bostic totaled four points, but her defense was critical to the Illini, which went on a huge run in the third quarter.

Gretchen Dolan (F)

While Dolan had been getting more minutes near the end of the regular season, tonight’s game only saw her on the court for about nine minutes. At this time, she missed her only shot attempt and did not perform much more than that. Green had the lineup tight tonight, keeping the starting five in for the majority of the matchup. Perhaps if Dolan sees more minutes this Sunday, she’ll be able to demonstrate more of the skills we’ve seen from her as of late.

Shay Bollin (C)

Bollin was in for 14 minutes tonight and only picked up one rebound and one assist. She failed to make her two free-throw attempts and was rather lax on the court tonight.

Brynn Shoup-Hill (N/A)

Shoup-Hill played a little less than three minutes tonight, picking up one steal along the way.


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Adam Rosen, Assistant Sports Editor
Hello! I’m Adam and I’m a senior majoring in journalism. I’m one of the assistant sports editors, and this is my second year with The DI. I love to talk about sports, so if you have any questions or desire to talk about a random athlete from 10 years ago or why Messi > Ronaldo, contact me at my email below!
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