Hoosiers Overlook Illini, big mistake

Illini stun Hoosiers with all six players scoring in double figures.
By Nick Jenkinson\Excel H Sports

On their way to a Thursday Night showdown against Iowa, the #12 Excel H Sports Ranked Indiana Hoosiers took the Illinois Fighting Illini for granted. It was a big mistake for the Hoosiers as Illinois snapped a 16-game losing streak to the #12 Hoosiers winning 86-66 Monday afternoon at the State Farm Center. Illinois wins for the first time since February 23, 2013, when they beat the Hoosiers 73-60 in Champaign. Indiana now leads the all -time series 50-31 and the teams split the season series both teams winning on their own home floor.

Illinois played just six players and all six scored in double-figures. Makira Cook led the way with 22 points. Adalia McKenize and Genesis Bryant scored 14 points apiece. Camille Hobby added 12 points along with 11 points from Gretchen Dolan who came off the bench. Kokomo, Indiana native Kendall Bostic posted her 9th double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Illinois finished 31-59 from the field for 52%, 4-9 from three-point range for 44% and 20-24 from the free throw line for 83%.  Illinois pulled down 30 rebounds, dished out 12 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks and committed 5 turnovers.

Mackenize Holmes scored 24 points and had 2 rebounds to lead the Hoosiers. Yarden Garzon scored 17 points and pulled down 8 rebounds. Sara Scalia added 10 points, Chloe Moore-McNeil 7 points and Lexus Bargesser added 6 points. Lilly Meister scored 2 points off the bench as Lenee Beaumont, Juilana LaMendola, Henna Sandvik and Sydney Parrish played but did not score. Parrish played for the first time since January 17 after missing the last seven games with a foot injury. Parrish had a rebound and a turnover in just 7 minutes of action. The Hoosiers finished 26-55 form the field for 47%, 6-20 form three-point range for 30% and 8-9 from the free throw line for 89%. Indiana had 26 rebounds, dished out 15 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks and committed 14 turnovers.

There were 5 lead changes and 1 tie as Illinois lead 18-17 after the first quarter. The Illini outscored Indiana 26-11 in the second quarter. Illinois went on 8-0 run after they led 26-24 with 7:14 left before halftime. The Illini extended the lead to double digits and led 44-28 going into the locker room after a 18-4 run in the final seven minutes of the second quarter. Indiana outscored Illinois 19-17 in the third quarter as the Hoosiers came within nine 50-41 5:14 left in the quarter but Illini extended the lead to 61-47 at the end of the third quarter as Indiana was struggling to get baskets. Illinois outscored the Hoosiers 25-19 in the fourth quarter. Indiana got within eight with 3:17 left 71-63 as the Illini closed the game on 15-3 run and snap the decade long losing streak the Hoosiers.

Indiana is 21-4 overall and 12-3 in the Big Ten with NCAA Women’s Basketball’s All-Time leading scorer Caitlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes coming to town on Thursday Night. Indiana was the 14th overall team and #4 seed in the first bracket reveal of the season which means the Hoosiers are in line to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament for third straight season. With Monday’s loss that could be in jeopardy as the Hoosiers could drop in the polls next week depending on Thursday’s result and most likely out of the top 16.

Illinois 13-12 overall and 7-8 in the Big Ten. Illinois has won 3 out 4 but they travel to Iowa City on Sunday to face the Hawkeyes before traveling to Michigan State and host to Nebraska to close out the regular season. Illinois would have to put some wins together to have any shot of making the NCAA Tournament at this point but a big win over a top 15 ranked team at home and breaking a long losing streak will give them a lot of momentum the rest of the regular season.

(The following is credit sourced to the University of Illinois Athletics)


Player Notes:

  • Genesis Bryant scored 15 points and added four rebounds.
    • Scored in double figures for the third-straight game.
  • Makira Cook scored a team-high 22 points and had four assists.
    • Hit the 20-point mark for the fourth time this season.
    • Scored in double figures for the 10th time in the last 11 games and for the 18th time this season
      • Reached the double-digit mark with 6:28 to go in the third quarter.
    • Scored a team-high seven points in the first quarter on 3-for-3 shooting, including 1-for-1 at the line.
    • Went 2-for-3 from beyond the arc in the contest.
      • Ninth time this season with multiple 3-pointers.
  • Adalia McKenzie scored 14 points while adding four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
    • Has scored double-digit points in six-straight games
    • Reached the double-figure mark with 1:08 to go in the first half
    • Has recorded two or more steals in four-straight games.
  • Camille Hobby scored 12 points and secured four rebounds.
    • Has double-figure scoring performances in two-straight games.
  • Kendall Bostic scored 12 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked two shots.
    • Recorded her second-straight double-double, her ninth of the season.
      • The 27th double-double of her Illini career.
    • Secured double-digit rebounds for the second-straight game and for the fourth time in her last five overall.
  • Gretchen Dolan came off the bench to score 11 points and add three rebounds and two assists.
    • First off the bench for the Illini, entering the game for the first time at the 2:25 mark in the first quarter.
    • Scored in double figures for the second-straight game, a career-long streak.

Team Notes:

  • Indiana won the tip, and the Hoosiers opened the scoring on their first possession.
  • The Illini had a program-record matching six players score in double figures (Bostic, Bryant, Cook, Dolan, Hobby and McKenzie.)
  • Illinois held Indiana to 11 points in the second quarter, marking the 50th time the Illini have held their opponent at/under 15 points in a period this season.
  • Illini scoring runs/consecutive defensive stops
  • Had an 18–2 run over a 6:28 stretch in the second quarter to take an 18-point advantage.
    • Held Indiana scoreless for a span of 4:30 during the run, forcing four turnovers.
    • Began as an 8-0 run over a 1:43 stretch to take a 10-point lead.
    • Also recorded a 10-0 run over a 4:15 stretch.
  • Went on a 10-0 run over a 1:49 stretch late in the fourth quarter to take an 18-point lead.
    • Closed out the game on an extended 15-3 run over the final 2:51 of the ballgame.
  • Illinois captured its first over Indiana since Feb. 23, 2013, snapping a 16-game losing streak.
    • First win over the Hoosiers in State Farm Center since Feb. 23, 2013.
    • The Illini picked up their first win over a ranked opponent since Jan. 1, 2023, when they defeated No. 12 Iowa 90-86.
      • Illinois has picked up wins over ranked opponents in consecutive seasons for the first time since doing so in the 2011/12 and 2012/13 campaigns.
    • The 20-point margin of victory was the largest by the Illini over the Hoosiers since winning by 30 on Jan. 9, 2000.
      • Largest margin of victory over a ranked opponent since also defeating No. 14 Florida by 20 on Dec. 19, 1998.
  • Illinois took a 44-28 lead into halftime, with all six players that saw floor scoring at least six points.
    • The Illini went 20-for-33 from the floor (.606), scoring 32 of their 44 points in the paint.
  • Illinois went 31-for-59 (.525) from the floor in the game.
    • The Illini have shot over 50 percent from the field in consecutive games
      • Seventh time this season shooting above 50 percent from the field
  • The Illini out-rebounded the Hoosiers 30-26, including an 8-6 advantage on the offensive glass.
    • Illinois converted those eight offensive rebounds into six second-chance points.
  • Illinois out-scored Indiana 42-36 in the paint.
    • The Illini went 15-for-22 on layups in the contest.
  • The Illini forced 14 Hoosier turnovers and converted those into 16 points.
    • Illinois turned the ball over a season-low five times in the contest.
  • Illinois led for a total of 34:16 in the ballgame.
    • The Illini grabbed the lead for good in the contest after Genesis Bryant’s buzzer-beating layup at the end of the first quarter.
  • The Illini bench out-scored their Hoosier counterparts 11-2.

Misc. Notes:

  • Starters: Makira CookGenesis BryantAdalia McKenzieKendall BosticCamille Hobby
    • This lineup is now 8-5 on the season.
  • Shauna Green is now:
    • 35-22 at Illinois
    • 162-72 as a Division-I coach
      • 191-97 overall
  • Illinois vs. Indiana: 31-49 (80th meeting)
  • Shauna Green coaching record vs. Indiana: 1-3
  • Illinois is now 8-5 when wearing white uniforms this season.
  • UI is now 9-5 in home games this season.
  • The Illini are now 6-9 in games starting before 5 p.m. CT this season.
  • The Illini are now 3-2 in February.


Head coach Shauna Green

Opening statement:

“I’m just really proud of our guys today. I have a ton of respect for Indiana and what Teri’s done and how she’s built the program. I remember when she first got there and how she’s built it up into a perennial top-15 team.

“We knew it was going to be a really tight game, and they’re so hard to prepare for. I’m really proud of how we came out, executed our game plan, and made it really tough on them. Holmes had 15 early, but then I thought we did a really good job on her as the game went on with bringing some doubles and trying, as best you can, to neutralize her a little bit. She’s so good, and she’s so hard to prepare for. They have so many pieces around her that can hit threes and do different things.

“Our big thing was we didn’t do a great job the first game in the paint. They really got us in the paint, and we didn’t do a great job in ball-screen action so they got slips. They got a ton of dumped-down layups, so our focus was trying to take away the paint as best as you can. We won that battle, and then we won the battle on the boards, which I thought was key when you play them.

“Holmes does so much damage with getting rebounds and putbacks or rebounds for kick-out threes, and their team flourishes when she does that. For us to hold her to two rebounds and only one o board, I think that is probably the biggest stat of the game because they generate so much off of that. I thought our guys were really, really intentional and disciplined with our talking about that, getting a body on her, and not letting her get those opportunities.

“I thought it was a great overall 40 minutes for us. We were able to hit some shots and score the ball, and we’ve been kind of up and down with that. To be able to put 86 up against such a great defensive team of Indiana, that’s really good for us going forward. We just have to continue to have that rhythm and confidence.”

Makira Cook

On the team’s preparation and focus over the last few weeks:

“Obviously, we started the season off rough, but we have been working our butts off and been super focused. We’ve been putting a whole bunch of things aside and keeping our main thing the main thing. Today, it just showed what we can do when we string it all together.”

On Hobby’s growth over the course of the season:

“I see how hard she works. She is in the facility from morning until after we’re done with everything, which is after a while. If you talk with her, you know she’ll be a coach in the future. I think her work, her willingness to adapt, and wanting to be a key piece here has made her a key piece here.”

Adalia McKenzie

On the team staying together:

“We’re really together. We’re really tight. We all have good relationships on the team. Most importantly, I feel like we have a great leader. Coach Green talks about staying together, staying locked in, keep growing, and going 1-0. Not once have we ever put our heads down. Losing doesn’t mean you’re a failure; it just means you have an opportunity to grow. Every time we’ve been knocked down, we got back up and took the opportunity to grow.”

On Dolan’s recent success and maturity throughout the season:

“She works really hard. Yes, she’s a freshman, but she doesn’t play like a freshman nor thinks like one. We’re a veteran team, so we’re pushing her to be her best. I told her, ‘You cannot think like a freshman. You’re a really good basketball player, so just go out and play.’ Every time she steps in a game, she has this confidence vibe about her. She’s just a really key player for us, and I love her.”


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