Cook's career-high 33 points lifts Illini to near-upset of #5 Indiana

(From Illini Sports Information Department)

 

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Illinois battled from start to finish but ultimately fell on the road to No. 5/4 Indiana, 65-61, in its Big Ten opener on Sunday afternoon.

The Illini led with under one minute to play before the Hoosiers closed the game on a 5-0 run. Illinois forced seven ties and six lead changes while leading for nearly five minutes of the contest.

Makira Cook scored a career-high 33 points, 20 of which came in the second half, shooting 48% from the field and 75% on 3-point attempts. Cook played 39 of a possible 40 minutes in the narrow defeat.

The Illini defense made things difficult for the Hoosiers all afternoon, holding Indiana to a season-low 65 points on 41.9 percent shooting, another season-low. Prior to Sunday's contest, the Hoosiers had not been held to 65 points or fewer since March 26 against No. 2 seed UConn in the Sweet 16.

The Illini outrebounded the Hooisers 43-36. Kendall Bostic grabbed 14 boards for the second-straight game while Adalia McKenzie recorded a career-high 11. The pair combined for seven of the Illini's 11 offensive boards. Bostic added four blocks as well.

Illinois shot 38 percent from three, led by Cook and Genesis Bryant who both recorded at least two triples.

After returning from four games on the road, the Illini (7-2, 0-1) will host Rutgers on Wednesday night at State Farm Center in their Big Ten home opener. Action will tip off at 7 p.m. CT on B1G+.

POST-GAME NOTES

Player Notes:

  • Kendall Bostic pulled down 14 rebounds for the second-straight game, including four offensive boards. Bostic added eight points and four blocks.
  • Adalia McKenzie
    • McKenzie finished with 9 points, ending a streak of 10-straight games (dating back to last season) with double-digit scoring.
    • The sophomore grabbed 11 rebounds, a new career high and her second career double-digit rebounding effort.
  • Makira Cook scored a career-high 33 points and added five rebounds.
    • Cook has scored at least 20 points in back-to-back games and three times on the season.
    • The junior is the first Illini to score 30 or more points since Alex Wittinger dropped 32 on Nov. 24, 2018 against Sacramento State.
    • Cook has double-digit scoring efforts in eight of nine games this season.
    • Cook has made multiple 3-pointers in back-to-back games.
      • She went 3-for-3 behind the arc in the first half.
    • She finished 6-for-6 from the free throw line, 3-for-4 from deep and 12-for-25 from the field.
  • Genesis Bryant tallied six points on 2-for-6 shooting from beyond the arc.
  • Jada Peebles scored three points while grabbing three rebounds, a block and a steal.
    • After starting the season 0-for-6 from deep, Peebles has gone 23-for-32 since, a 72 percent clip.

Team Notes:

  • For the second-straight game, Illinois' opponent scored first as the Hoosiers struck on their opening possession for a layup 15 seconds in.
  • For just the second time of the 2022-23 campaign, Illinois saw just one player in double-figure scoring. The Illini are now 1-1 in those outings.
  • Illinois held Indiana to season-low marks in points in a quarter (13, 2nd), points in a half (34, 1st) and game (65, 14 lower than previous).
    • The last time Indiana was held to 65 points or less was in last season's Sweet 16 loss to No. 2 seed UConn, 58-75.

Misc Notes:

  • Starters: Makira CookJayla OdenAdalia McKenzie,  Brynn Shoup-HillKendall Bostic. Illinois is now 7-2 with this unit.
  • Illinois is now 14-27 all-time in Big Ten openers following the Illini's opener at Indiana. The Orange and Blue have lost their last six league-openers.
    • The Illini have opened B1G play on the road for the third-straight season.
  • Shauna Green is now:
    • 7-2 at Illinois
    • 0-1 in the Big Ten
    • 134-52 as a Division I coach
    • 163-77 overall
  • Against Indiana record: 30-47
    • 10-26 in road games
    • Indiana has claimed the last 14 decisions over the Illini.
    • Shauna Green vs. Indiana: 0-1
  • Uniforms: Illinois is now 3-1 when wearing Orange uniforms.
  • Illinois is 46-214 all-time against ranked opponents, which includes a 9-97 mark against top 10 foes.
  • Day games record: 4-2

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