(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+.
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