Illini earn first conference win
URBANA, ILL. (WCCU) —
The Illini and fans are still celebrating their first conference win against Indiana Wednesday night.
“We was dancing you know,” said freshman guard Trent Frazier who helped keep the Illini in the game, especially in the first half.
After the first five minutes, Illinois Head Coach Brad Underwood subbed out his entire starting lineup who couldn’t put up any points. That’s when Te’Jon Lucas came in and put up seven points, shooting 100 percent.
“Defensively, I didn’t feel like we were maybe as aggressive as we needed to be at the start of the game and Te’Jon [Lucas] gives us that,” said Underwood at the post-game press conference.
When Frazier checked back in the game, he went on a thirteen point-scoring streak to keep the orange and blue within reach of the Hoosiers. Frazier said, “Coach pulled me aside and said he’s going to continue to put the ball in my hands and trust me.”
“I felt like we did very little right in the first half, Trent single-handedly kept us in it,” added Underwood.
At the end of the first half, the Illini were down by six points to Indiana, 32-38.
Within the first two minutes of the second half, they were down two points and started seeing more contributions from Kipper Nichols and Leron Black who had twelve and eleven points respectively.
The Illini were up by eight points with just over a minute left. Indiana began to creep back into the game putting it within two, but Illinois still came out with the victory. Earning their first Big Ten win of the season.
The Illini sit at 1-8 in conference and 11-11 overall.
Next up, they host Rutgers at the State Farm Center on Tuesday, January 30th.