Illini Cruise Past Canisius 90-58

Buffalo native Gretchen Dolan posts a career-high 11 points against her hometown team of Canisius as the Illini run their record to 3-2 overall.

By Matt Stevens - IlliniGuys Staff Writer

(Cover photo courtesy Illinois Athletics)

CHAMPAIGN — The 11 points posted by Gretchen Dolan in Illinois’ blowout win may be a career-high now but isn’t likely to stand up in the collegiate career of the freshman guard.

Dolan, born and raised in Buffalo just a few miles from the Canisius campus, recorded 11 points on just five shot attempts in 18 minutes of action off the bench of the Illini’s 90-58 victory over the Golden Griffins.

Dolan, whose mother played basketball for Canisius and has an older sister, Hannah, played basketball at Canisius before an injury derailed her collegiate career, had been struggling to return from an ankle injury suffered in the 103-33 ‘Field Trip Day’ win over Saint Peter's. Dolan was the highlight of Green’s first high school recruiting class last winter as she achieved the 1,000-point milestone as a junior at Williamsville South High School and averaged 38.4 points per game in her senior season before arriving in Champaign.

On a day where the Illini’s two early signees (forward Berry Wallace and center Hayven Smith) were in attendance at State Farm Center, Illinois (3-2) got 21 points from Genesis Bryant as the senior guard was nearly perfect in her shooting (7 of 9 from the field, 2 of 3 from 3-point range and a perfect 5 of 5 from the foul line). The transfer from North Carolina State got 10 points in a second quarter where the Illini built the lead out to 20 points.

Illinois head coach Shauna Green, who was a three-time first-team All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference selection at Canisius and the school’s all-time leading scorer, with 2,012 points, said earlier in the week that the Illini frontcourt players were challenged after the 79-68 loss to No. 16 Notre Dame in Washington D.C. on Nov. 18. The results on Sunday afternoon included 19 second-chance points off 12 offensive rebounds and 50 points inside the paint.

Adalia McKenzie finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists in just 22 minutes of action as the former Miss Basketball Selection in Minnesota was one of five players in double figures for the Illini.

Illinois will be back on the State Farm Center court in three days against Central Connecticut State for a 6 p.m. tip.

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