Bryant's career-high 32 points jumpstarts No. 23 Illini women past Morehead State 81-61

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- — Senior guard Genesis Bryant scored a career-high 32 points, Kendall Bostic had a double-double and 23rd-ranked Illinois beat Morehead State 81-61 in a season opening matchup on Tuesday night.

Illinois established a 13-2 lead when Bostic made a pair of layups, Bryant and Adalia McKenzie each had one, Jada Peebles made a jump shot and Brynn Shoup-Hill made a 3-pointer.

Illinois finished the first quarter up 20-11 after shooting 9 for 18 and never trailed.

The Illini's 24-point second quarter matched Morehead State's first-half total and they led 44-24 at halftime.

The 5-foot-6 Bryant, in her second year at Illinois following two seasons at North Carolina State, finished 12-for-16 shooting, including 2 for 5 from 3 and 6 for 7 from the foul line. Bostic had 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Veronica Charles scored 16 points for Morehead State.

It was only the second contest between the two teams, with Morehead State winning 89-72 at a neutral site in the 1978-79 season.

Illinois is ranked in the Associated Press preseason poll for the first time since the 1999-00 season.

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