B1G Game 12: Gophers Visit Illinois (2-5-23)

Ignatius L Hoops

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The Illini’s quest for an NCAA tournament bid has reached crunch time. Coming off a 57-74 loss at Michigan, Illinois (7-5) must take care of business Sunday afternoon versus Minnesota (2-9) a team the Illini dismissed a couple of weeks ago in Minneapolis 70-57.

The remaining regular season schedule appears favorable for first year head coach Shauna Greene. After hosting the Gophers, the Illini travel to Nebraska and Maryland. Next up are home games versus Penn State and Nebraska before ending the season at Rutgers, a team they defeated earlier this season. A capstone to a remarkable turnaround is within reach.

 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Adelia McKenzie Helps Illini Defeat Gophers

The Spokesman-Recorder's: Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald

University of Illinois basketball player Adalia McKenzie seemed right at home as her team faced the University of Minnesota in a Big Ten women’s matchup Sunday, January 15, at Williams Arena.

The former Park Center High School girls’ basketball standout finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and three steals in helping to lead the Illini to a 70-57 victory over the Golden Gophers. The 5’10” guard also led Illinois with four offensive rebounds.

“It was good to be back home,” McKenzie said after the game. “It was good to come back and get a win in front of family and friends.”

It has been quite the journey for McKenzie. She finished her prep career as Park Center’s all-time leading scorer with 2,573 points, led the Pirates to the 2020 Class 4A state tournament during her junior year, and was named Minnesota’s Miss Basketball as a senior in 2021.

After numerous scholarship offers to big-time NCAA Division I schools, McKenzie chose Illinois because of her desire to be part of something special. I went to Illinois to help build the program,” the sophomore guard said. “I wanted to be part of something new.”


After starting 15 of 27 games as a freshman and averaging 9.4 points per game, McKenzie and her teammates have turned things around this season under new head coach Shauna Green. During the 2021-2022 season the Illini finished with a 1-13 Big Ten record and 7-20 overall. The team is currently sporting a 16-4 record, 6-3 in the Big Ten, and is ranked No. 21 in the Associated Press poll and No. 23 in the NCAA Women’s College Basketball Coaches poll.

“We didn’t make much progress last season,” McKenzie said, reflecting on her first year. “But things changed when new players and Coach Green took over.”

This year, she’s averaging 15 points-per-game while teaming with Mikara Cook, Genesis Bryant, Kendall Bostic, Jada Peebles, Brynn Shoup-Hill, and Jada Oden.

“I made the right choice,” McKenzie said. “I’m glad to be here.”
 


Ignatius L Hoops

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6-12 from three and only three turnovers certainly makes the offense look good.
 




Frink

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Really surprised that Illinois isn't pressuring us on D more. Given our propensity for turning it over you would think they would at least try some trapping or full court D.
 






Aesop70

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Slipping back to old ways in the 3rd. Lindsay needs to refocus them. Getting tired of hearing Illinois getting these easy lay ups while me miss open jumpers.
 






Bfan

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Announcers surprised Braun was taken out of the game for awhile now down the stretch.

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Announcer: "Where is Mara Braun. That's my question."

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Katogopher

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I hope someone asks Whalen why Braun hasn’t been in the game
 



Willwin40

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Braun and Battle must be in Whalen’s dog house.
 



Aesop70

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Tied 60-60 with 1:49 left. And then we apparently think turnovers count as points in the last 2 minutes.
People on this this thread will be tempted to praise this as moral victory. Please don't.
 

Chico Gopher

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Whalen has a lot of flaws but there's no way she doesn't have brown in the game unless there's an injury issue.
Might be because she didn't play a lick of defense this afternoon, and the team she had on the floor in the 2nd half was defending fairly well. I also wondered why she didn't bring her in for the final 30 seconds, but then again, she's probably pretty cold from sitting for the past half hour. Can second guess all day long, but after watching how bad she and Battle (not to mention Battle's turnovers) were on defense today, I was OK with them sitting.
 


blkroll

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The announcers just said Mara is dealing with the foot injury from earlier this season.
 

Chico Gopher

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I hope someone asks Whalen why Braun hasn’t been in the game
I doubt that Whalen is interested in throwing one of her freshman under the bus. I would expect the response to be that she felt the squad that played the 2nd half did an overall decent job on defense. Everybody except Katie B had an awful time dealing with the high ball screen today.
 


fanfromthevalley

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And on the BTN+ broadcast, you could see that black "athletic" tape on Braun's lower right leg. So, yes, it would appear there is some kind of ongoing injury issue.
 


Gophers112233

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because she was getting torched on defense, group she had in brought them back from a 10 pt deficit. I probably would've brought her back in when they got down with a couple minutes to go but i had no problem with the move otherwise
I would have put her back in when it was tied with 1:30 left.. give us another scoring option.. as it seemed like it was Rose or bust..
 




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