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Illinois women complete season sweep of Minnesota

Back in the win column

CHAMPAIGN, Ill — Welcome to the Cook and McKenzie Show.

After losing to No. 18 Michigan Wolverines on Thursday, the Illini were able to stop their skid with a 69-62 win against Minnesota on Sunday afternoon.

The Illini move to 18-6 overall (8-5 Big Ten) with an impressive 11-2 record at home.

This was the Illini’s second win against the Gophers, sweeping the season series.

Offense was definitely the focal point for Illinois heading into this game. After recently struggling from behind the arc, the Illini made it a priority to get out of the run early and dominate the interior.

Minnesota in the first quarter could not stop the inside attack of Adalia McKenzie. With Makira Cook running down hill, McKenzie, along with Kendall Bostic, was able to get a lot of open looks when called upon.

On the defensive end, Minnesota’s Mara Braun was a problem for Illinois. Braun was shooting lights out from three, going perfect until her first miss late in the first half. The Gophers were able to stick with Illinois going into the half knotted up at 35.

The Illini came out of the locker room on a mission, scoring the first six points out of the break while Minnesota struggled to get started offensively.

Illinois’ defense would hold Minnesota to 10 points in the third quarter and headed into the last frame with an 8-point lead — despite going on a scoring drought of more than three minutes.

The tables turned in the fourth, however, as Illinois’ offense stalled while Minnesota closed in on the Illini. A 9-0 Gophers run would cut Illinois lead to one with only five minutes remaining, and with under two minutes to go the game was tied at 60.

The Illini were on the verge of a very bad conference loss, until the duo of Cook and McKenzie took control scoring when the Illini need it most.

Clutch offensive possessions along with big plays on the defensive end down the stretch helped the Illini prevail against the Golden Gophers.


McKenzie with the midrange deadeye.

Brynn Shoup-Hill with the quick release.

Genesis Bryant goes high off the glass for the tough two.

Bostic with the Daily Double-Double.


Illinois will be on the road to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Thursday.

7 p.m. CT tipoff on BTN+.