Foul-strapped Illini Women Fall Short Against #6 Indiana

By IlliniGuys.com Staff

January 18, 2023

(Cover photo courtesy Illinois Athletics)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Mackenzie Holmes took advantage of a foul-plagued Illinois squad and scored 30 points as #6 Indiana defeated 21st ranked Illinois 83-72 Wednesday night at State Farm Center.

The Illini (15-4, 5-3) were looking to avenge a 65-61 loss in Bloomington last month in which they led the then-5th ranked Hoosiers in the final minute before coming up short.

Illinois built a 19-10 lead in the game's first 2 1/2 minutes, but managed just three field goals in the final 12:30 of the first half.  Kendall Bostic, the Big Ten's leading rebounder and Illinois' best inside player, left the game at the 7:10 mark with two fouls and with the Illini leading 26-23.  But her absence sparked a 14-5 Hoosier run as the visitors took a 37-31 lead into halftime.

Genesis Bryant hit back-to-back shots to open the 3rd quarter and cut the Illini deficit to 37-35.  But after a Holmes layup, Bostic committed her third foul and again had to leave the game.  Again, the Hoosiers took advantage by going on another 14-5 run to expand their lead 53-40.

Illinois rallied in the 4th quarter, putting together a 9-0 run of their own to pull within 71-64 with 4:26 left in the game.  But they never got any closer, as Indiana shot 58% from the floor in the 2nd half, led by Holmes.  The 6'3" senior scored 18 points after halftime as she finished the night just two points shy of her career high.  She led Indiana with 10 rebounds.  Indiana outscored the Illini 18-11 at the free throw line.

Bryant finished with a game-high 18 points, including 3-of-5 from three-point range, before fouling out with 3:26 remaining.  Bostic scored seven of her 17 points in the fourth quarter and recorded another double-double with a game-high 11 rebounds.  Adalia McKenzie scored 15 and Makira Cook, who recorded a career-best 33 points against the Hoosiers last month, scored 14 points on 5-for-18 shooting while dishing out a game-best 8 assists.

The game was played before a crowd of 5,583, the second-best home crowd of the season for the Illini, who suffer their first home loss in 10 games this season.

The win for Indiana (17-1, 7-1) marked a milestone for coach Terri Moran, who becomes the program's all-time winningest coach with her 189th victory.

The Illini will travel to Northwestern to face the Wildcats on Sunday (2pm, BIG+).

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