The 81-68 Illini win certainly was a game of runs in the first half
as the Illini 10-0, then Iowa went 11-1, followed by ILL 16-2, then
Iowa 11-5 over the final five minutes to close half.
And up until the 6:02 mark in the second half, when Demetri McCamey hit a dagger to put the Illini up 17, this Big Ten brawl constantly shifted back and forth between non-contest and close game.
It was a college basketball game that highlighted one of the main reoccurring themes of the Illinois Fighting Illini season. Every time they had a big lead, they just couldn’t find a way to step on their opponents’ throat.
The “killer instinct,” or “closing speed” just was not there. It
seemed like every time they went up 15, the margin was back to five or
less before you knew it.
And tonight saw McCamey, who finished with 18 points, 7 assists and 5
rebounds, become just the 2nd player in Big Ten history to reach 1,600
points and 700 assists. Mike Davis had 20 (to go along with 9 boards),
and Mike Tisdale led the game with 25 points. The production of the
three seniors conveys a theme that we have seen very little to not at
all this season- all three seniors playing well together in the main
game. seniors accounted for 65 of the team’s 81 points today – that’s
80% of the scoring.
“Everyone’s been hammering us, The seniors this, the seniors that,
the seniors aren’t stepping up,” Mike Davis said. We took it as a
challenge to play well, we wanted to take it up and just shut people up.
And we wanted to show that the seniors are here, and we’re here to lead
this team to a good seed in the Big Ten Tournament
The Illini outshot the Hawkeyes
55%-41% and outrebounded them by 2. With the victory, Illinois has now
won 6 in a row over the Hawkeyes, their longest winning streak in the
all-time series. They’ve also won 10 straight at home over the Hawkeyes,
and 16 of the last 20 in the series. Weber is now 12-2 all time versus
You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank