CHAMPAIGN — Genesis Bryant dazzled a matinee crowd at State Farm Center on Wednesday, notching a triple double in a blowout 81-46 win over Florida Atlantic.
Bryant, filling in for starting point guard Makira Cook for the second straight game because of illness, scored 22 points, grabbed ten rebounds and dished out twelve assists.
After the game, Bryant said she was simply trying to fill the point guard role like Cook does.
“Really, just running the team. Makira brings a point guard presence, so just trying to make sure there’s no dropoff, and just being a team player, doing whatever needs to be done in the game.”
Jayla Oden and Brynn Shoup-Hill joined Bryant in double figures with 14 points each, as Illinois ran out to a 15-point lead after one quarter, and a 49-19 advantage at the half over the Owls.
Head coach Shauna Green said she recruited Bryant out of high school when she was the head coach at Dayton before Bryant ultimately chose North Carolina State. After just one season with the Wolfpack, Bryant decided to transfer, and Green said it was an easy decision to bring Bryant to Illinois.
Green said she had no doubt that Bryant could handle the point guard spot in Cook’s absence.
“I have all the confidence in the world in her,” Green said. “And, with Makira out, yeah, that’s not fun, right? We want to be at full strength, but I knew Gen could do it, no doubt.”
Illinois improved to 11-2 this season, after just winning eight games all of last season. The Owls dropped to 8-2.
After a few days off for Christmas, the Illini will resume Big Ten play when they travel to Madison to face the Wisconsin Badgers on Dec. 29.