Is it too early to call Illinois a #WomensBasketballSchool? I’m recently new to the whole WBB scene and personally don’t know the criteria that would make us a WBB school, but with how this winter has been going, this is undoubtably the best team in Champaign.
And with that being said, this is officially your opportunity to hop on this train.
Illinois (14-2 Overall, 3-1 Big Ten) vs. Northwestern (6-8 Overall, 0-4 Big Ten)
CHAMPAIGN, Ill — “Ms. BoomBOSTIC”
This Illini team is deep. The game Thursday night against Northwestern was just another prime example that any player on this team can hurt you in a second’s notice.
Quick Question: Who had Brynn Shoup-Hill circled on their scouting report? Certainly not Northwestern. She was lighting them up from behind the arc, going 4-of-6 from three and leading the team with 12 points at the half. The Wildcats could not contain Illinois’ drive and dish offense even if they knew it was coming.
Behind Makira Cook, the Illini were zipping the ball around the court, giving the Northwestern defenders whiplash. Anywhere you looked, a different Illini was putting the ball in the hoop.
Kendall Bostic with her usual dominate performance in the paint, as she neared close to a double-double in only one half of play (8 points, 10 rebounds).
Even though it seemed like the Illini had this game under control it certainly was no cakewalk. Northwestern turned on the heat in the third quarter, causing multiple empty possessions for the Illini.
So heated in fact, Northwestern’s Caileigh Walsh and Illinois’ Cook both received technicals after a “flirty” altercation.
Caileigh Walsh blowing a kiss to her opponent while down 12 points to get a technical is… a choice.— Inside NU (@insidenu) January 6, 2023
Then the sky started falling for the Illini. Some tremendous defense by Northwestern would quickly erase a 19-point deficient to 2 with less than 5 minutes of play in the fourth quarter.
Up 4 with 1:06 remaining in the game, the Illini had to convert on their next possession. All eyes where on Cook as she drove and missed her iso attempt. Then Kendall Bostic rose to the occasion cleaning up her miss, putting up a shot with the foul as she knocked down a huge “And-1”. Which ended up being the dagger in the contest.
Final: Illinois 85 - Northwestern 79
Illini Top Performers:
- Makira Cook: 23 pts | 6 rebs | 5 asts
- Kendall Bostic: 15 pts | 16 rebs | 2 asts
- Genesis Bryant: 16 pts | 3 rebs | 5 ast
- Brynn Shoup-Hill: 14 pts | 6 rebs | 2 ast | 4-7 3pt
- Adalia McKenzie: 14 pts | 9 rebs | 2 ast
DO NOT GET IN @kendallbostic22'S LANE!— Illinois W Basketball (@IlliniWBB) January 6, 2023
No. 44 with the And 1!
Q4 0:37 | #Illini 83, Northwestern 77 pic.twitter.com/S4zSxmQsNC
Illinois has the opportunity to make a name for itself as the Illini will be going up against their toughest task yet in No. 3 Ohio State on Sunday. Ohio State is currently sporting an undefeated record at 16-0, including a 5-0 mark in conference play.
A road win of this caliber would shock the country.
Nothing Shauna Green & Co. can’t handle.
Big Ten Standings (as of Friday morning)
- #3 Ohio State (16-0 Overall, 5-0 Big Ten)
- Illinois (14-2 Overall, 4-1 Big Ten)
- #6 Indiana (13-1 Overall, 3-1 Big Ten)
- #14 Michigan (13-2 Overall, 3-1 Big Ten)
- #13 Maryland (12-3 Overall, 3-1 Big Ten)
- #16 Iowa (11-4 Overall, 3-1 Big Ten)
- Purdue (11-3 Overall, 2-2 Big Ten)
- Michigan State (10-5 Overall, 2-2 Big Ten)
- Nebraska (10-5 Overall, 2-2 Big Ten)
- Penn State (10-5 Overall, 1-3 Big Ten)
- Minnesota (8-7 Overall, 1-3 Big Ten)
- Northwestern (6-8 Overall, 0-4 Big Ten)
- Rutgers (6-10 Overall, 0-4 Big Ten)
- Wisconsin (4-11 Overall, 0-4 Big Ten)