INDIANAPOLIS — The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team held on for a 65-63 win at Butler yesterday.
Junior guard Makira Cook led Illinois with 22 points. Adailia McKenzie added 13 points and 12 rebounds.
The Illini led by as many as 15 points in the third quarter before the Bulldogs made a late push.
Illinois head coach Shauna Green says her team needs to improve its focus late in games.
“The end of the game, multiple different plays, and we’ve got to learn from that,” Green said. “We’ll take the win against a really good team on the road, but we have to be more focused and disciplined.”
Cook says her team’s defense was key on a day the offense got off to a slow start.
“Defense is what we put our pride on. Coach Green harps defense. We know that defense wins games, defense travels,” Cook said. “Maybe on a day like today when we had a slower start, our defense is what really won us this game.”
With the win, Illinois improved to 9-2 this season. After a break for final exams, the Illini will travel to Columbia, Mo. to face the Missouri Tigers on Sunday.