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Illini women use big second half run to top Nebraska 72-64

Illinois guard Jayla Oden (12) drives past Nebraska's Isabelle Bourne (34) during a 72-64 win for the Illini in Lincoln.

LINCOLN, Neb. — The Illinois women’s basketball team used a 20-0 second half run to push past Nebraska Thursday night 72-64.

The Illini (19-6 overall, 9-5 Big Ten) lost starting guard Genesis Bryant to injury in the first quarter, but Jayla Oden played well off the bench in Bryant’s absence, scoring 12 points and adding six rebounds.

Head coach Shauna Green says Oden and starter Makira Cook both provided leadership with Bryant out of the game.

“They just played with great confidence,” Green said. “Jayla was kind of the leader that Gen (Bryant) is, and she just stepped right into it, and she was really aggressive getting to the rim.”

Cook led all scorers with 22 points. Oden added 12 points and six rebounds off the bench.

Oden says she always tries to stay ready when she’s on the bench and that her teammate Cook’s support really helps.

“She knows what I’m capable of, and she tells me every day,” Oden said. “It’s been a slow start for me this year, but I’m just starting to feel like myself. It’s great to have a teammate that has the confidence and encourages me to keep pushing each day.”

Illinois trailed 51-41 early in the third quarter before going on the game’s decisive 20-0 run.

Green says her team carried over its strong defense from the first half.

“We were just being aggressive. We were playing with confidence, and the main thing is, we were getting stops,” Green said. “In the first half, I actually thought our defense wasn’t bad. The first half, we couldn’t make shots.”

Adalia McKenzie added 16 points for Illinois. Kendall Bostic chipped in eleven points and ten rebounds.

Nebraska (14-10 overall, 6-7 Big Ten) was led by Sam Halby with 15 points.

The Illini will travel to College Park, Maryland on Sunday to face the 8th-ranked Terrapins.

ILLINOIS (19-6)

Bostic 5-7 1-1 11, Shoup-Hill 0-3 0-0 0, Bryant 1-2 0-0 3, Cook 9-22 4-4 22, McKenzie 6-16 4-5 16, Lopes 1-2 0-0 2, Taponen 0-0 0-0 0, Oden 5-9 1-1 12, Peebles 2-5 0-0 6, Rhodes 0-0 0-0 0, Ndour 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 29-66 10-11 72

NEBRASKA (14-10)

Bourne 4-13 1-2 11, Markowski 6-12 1-6 14, Haiby 3-7 9-11 15, Krull 2-4 2-3 7, Shelley 1-6 10-10 12, Coley 0-2 0-0 0, Mendelson 0-0 0-0 0, Stewart 0-3 2-2 2, Hake 1-4 0-0 3, Moriarty 0-1 0-0 0, Totals 17-52 25-34 64

Illinois 15 14 20 23 72
Nebraska 18 19 14 13 64

3-Point Goals: Illinois 4-17 (Shoup-Hill 0-2, Bryant 1-2, Cook 0-5, Oden 1-3, Peebles 2-5), Nebraska 5-21 (Bourne 2-5, Markowski 1-2, Haiby 0-1, Krull 1-2, Shelley 0-3, Coley 0-2, Stewart 0-2, Hake 1-3, Moriarty 0-1). Assists: Illinois 9 (Cook 4), Nebraska 10 (Haiby 4). Fouled Out: None. Rebounds: Illinois 37 (Bostic 10), Nebraska 41 (Markowski 11). Total Fouls: Illinois 23, Nebraska 17. Technical Fouls: None. A: 4,369.

Brian Moline

Brian Moline

Brian Moline is the Managing Editor of Illinois Newsroom and host of Morning Edition for Illinois Public Media/WILL. He's been with WILL since 2015, after a long stint at WDWS-AM in Champaign where he covered both news and sports for more than a decade. If you have story or interview ideas, you can reach Brian at bmoline@illinois.edu.

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