Covering the Land of Lincoln

McKenzie Scores Career-High 26 Points in Emphatic Road Win Over Wisconsin

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Iowa

1/1/2023 | 2 PM

Big Ten Network

1400AM & 93.9FM

Jan 01 (Sun) / 2 PM

Iowa

MADISON, Wis. — Adalia McKenzie and Makira Cook dominated from start to finish in Illinois’ emphatic 79-63 win over Wisconsin on the road on Thursday night.

McKenzie scored a career-high 26 points in the victory, while Cook tallied 23 points following her two-game absence.

The Illini sit above .500 in conference action for the first time since 2017, and they extend their winning streak to five games in their final game of 2022. Illinois now sits at 12-2 overall and 2-1 in Big Ten play heading into 2023

Illinois shot a season-high 95.7% at the free-throw line, with McKenzie leading the way with 15 free-throw attempts. The Illini also commanded the boards, outrebounding the Badgers, 37-28, and 10-6 on the offensive glass.

Illinois knocked down its first four shots of the contest, using three 3-pointers during that stretch to take an early 11-4 lead. The Illini shot 75% from deep during the opening 10 minutes and led by three, 21-18, heading into the second quarter.

After a back-and-forth first quarter, Illinois opened the second frame on a 9-2 run to take a double-digit lead with seven minutes to play in the half. The Badgers pulled within one before the Illini used a 6-0 run to extend their advantage to seven points, with Kendall Bostic grabbing the 500th rebound of her career during that time.

Illinois eventually took a 38-32 advantage into the break, led by McKenzie’s 10 points, her 12th double-figure scoring performance this season.

The Illini got into a groove to open the second half, opening the third quarter on an 11-3 run. Six straight points from Genesis Bryant, bringing her to double figures, while that stretch pushed Illinois’ advantage up to 14 less than four minutes into the frame. Ahead by as many as 17 in the third quarter, the Illini led by 12 with 10 minutes to play.

McKenzie and Cook took over in the fourth quarter, combining to score all 19 of the Illini’s points in the frame. After Wisconsin cut its deficit to single digits, an 11-2 Illinois run pushed the visitors’ lead to a game-high 18 points. Closing the game on a 4-1 run, the Illini secured its 12th win of the year in its final game of the calendar year.

Now 12-2 overall and 2-1 in conference play, Illinois returns home to take on No. 12 Iowa on New Year’s Day, with tipoff scheduled for 2 pm at State Farm Center on Jan. 1.

POST GAME NOTES

Player Notes:

  • Kendall Bostic finished with 6 points and 9 rebounds.

    • With her third rebound of the game, Bostic grabbed the 500th board of her career.

    • Bostic has grabbed 9+ rebounds for four-straight games.

  • Genesis Bryant started her third-straight game and turned in 14 points – her 10th double-digit scoring effort of the season.

  • Makira Cook finished with 23 points in her return from a two-game absence. She added 5 steals and 4 rebounds as well.

  • Adalia McKenzie scored a career-high 26 points including a 14-of-15 effort from the free throw line. She added 8 rebounds as well.

Team Notes:

  • Illinois used an early 8-0 run over a 1:07 minute span in the opening quarter to take an 11-4 lead and would never trail again.

  • The Illini’s 95.7 free throw percentage (22-for-23) ranks 10th in the country for team single-game performances this season.

  • Illinois led for 38:49 of the game.

  • Wisconsin turned the ball over 22 times and Illinois scored 19 points off those turnovers.

Mix Notes:

  • Starters: Makira Cook, Genesis Bryant, Adalia McKenzie, Brynn Shoup-Hill, Kendall Bostic for Illinois’ third different lineup of the season. Illinois is now 1-0 with this unit.

  • The Illini improved to 12-2 and have won at least 12 games for the first time since 2014-15.

  • Illinois is now 4-1 in true road games this season and has won three-straight road games.

  • Illinois moves to 2-1 in Big Ten play.

  • Shauna Green is now:

  • Against Wisconsin record: 41-41

    • 11-26 all-time at Madison

    • First win in Madison since 2015-16 season (four-straight losses)

    • Shauna Green vs Wisconsin: 2-0

  • Uniforms: Illinois is now 7-0 when wearing white uniforms.

  • Night games record: Illinois is now 5-0 in games played after 5 pm

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