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Illini women improve to 5-0 with blowout win over Oakland

Makira Cook drives to the basket during Illinois' 84-55 win over the Oakland Grizzlies Monday night in Champaign.

CHAMPAIGN — The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team is off to its best start since the 2014-15 season after an 84-55 win over Oakland University Monday night in Champaign.

Four Illinois players scored in double figures, led by junior Makira Cook with 18 points.

Senior Jada Peebles added 12 points off the bench for the Illini, who improved to 5-0 on the season, all of those games coming at home.

Peebles, who hit four three-pointers during the game, says she’s playing with confidence.

“Having my teammates put me in the right position to where it’s just a wide open, easy shot to take,” Peebles said. “I know the reps that I’ve gotten in, I see it go in every day, so having the confidence to take that wide open shot, it just feels good every time I let it go.”

Illinois head coach Shauna Green says the extra work Peebles and her teammates are doing outside of practice is paying off.

“It’s a very simple game. Like life, if you want to be really good at something, you have to work really really hard,” Green said. “It’s really, really hard to be an elite shooter, and you’ve got to get a ton of reps in, and repetition leads to confidence. Confidence leads to success, and our kids have bought into that.”

Jayla Oden and Adalia McKenzie also scored in double figures with 13 points apiece. Kendall Bostic was the team’s rebounding leader with ten.

Breanne Beatty led Oakland with 13 points.

Illinois will play its first games away from home this weekend when they face Charlotte on Friday and Delaware on Saturday in the Daytona Beach Invitational.

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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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