Illini’s depth shines in a 78-60 road win at Minnesota

Illinois basketball’s depth was examined on Monday. And towards the Big Ten’s last-place group, Illinois was in a position to overcome early foul bother to a few of its greatest gamers.

Matthew Mayer led Illinois with 19 factors (8-14 FG, 3-6 threes) and 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season to go together with two blocks to guide the Illini to a hard-fought road win at Minnesota on Monday.

Terrence Shannon, Dain Dainja and Coleman Hawkins all performed restricted minutes in the primary half on account of foul bother, and Illinois clung to simply a 35-32 lead at halftime. But each Illini who performed — together with freshmen Sencire Harris (seven factors, eight rebounds, three assists) and Ty Rodgers (eight factors, eight rebounds) and seldom-used heart Brandon Lieb (4 factors, two rebounds, one block) — contributed to the victory as Illinois dominated the second half 43-28.

Dainja had 11 factors (5-6 FG), Shannon added 11 factors (2-12 FG), 4 rebounds and 4 assists and Jayden Epps had 10 factors (5-9 FG) to assist Illinois (13-5, 4-3 Big Ten) win its fourth straight sport after an 0-3 begin to Big Ten play.

Dawson Garcia led Minnesota (7-9, 1-5 Big Ten) with 17 factors (6-14 FG), and Ta’lon Cooper added 16 factors (7-11 FG), however Ilinois held the Gophers star Jamison Battle to eight factors on 4-for-11 capturing.

Illinois used a 7-0 run early to take an 11-7 lead after which expanded its result in 17-11 after putbacks by Dainja and Ty Rodgers. As Illini’s stars went to the bench with foul bother, Minnesota slowly minimize into the lead and took a transient 30-29 lead with 2:26 left in the half. But Mayer hit two 3-pointers in the ultimate 2:10 to present Illinois a 35-32 lead at halftime.

At full energy in the second half, Illinois rattled off a 12-0 run — throughout which 4 Illini scored and capped by a Hawkins step-back 3-pointer — to take a 47-36 lead. As Illinois constructed a 55-41 lead, Minnesota missed 11 of 12 photographs throughout an eight-minute stretch. Illinois continued to increase its lead over the ultimate 11 minutes to complete a dominant second half.

What it means: A victory at Minnesota is barely a Quad 3 win, but it surely’s one Illinois could not have received a few weeks in the past when it regarded disconnected and disjointed. Monday’s win was a mature victory for a group that’s beginning to discover consistency. The Illini gamers appear extra settled and assured in their roles. Purdue may be powerful to catch after a gradual begin, however Illinois is as proficient as any Big Ten group — and it is a scary one now that it is taking part in like a group.

Star of the sport: Matthew Mayer, who helped Illinois overcome foul bother on Monday, certain is wanting like a top-20 switch addition now. After averaging simply 5.6 factors throughout his first eight video games with Illinois, the Baylor switch has put collectively one of the best stretch of his five-year faculty profession. During the final 10 video games, Mayer is averaging 15.4 per sport on over 50% capturing together with 45% from three. Most importantly, Mayer is taking part in actually good group basketball. He’s sharing the ball and taking part in with way more depth and duty on protection. With 5 at house in the course of the subsequent seven video games, Illinois has a likelihood to get in the direction of the entrance of the Big Ten race.

Statistics of the sport:

  • Illinois outscored Minnesota in the paint 54-28.
  • Illinois outrebounded Minnesota 50-29.
  • Illinois’ bench outscored Minnesota’s bench 27-13.
  • Minnesota shot 27.6% from the sector in the second half.
  • Illinois had 11 turnovers. The Illini averaged 14.1 turnovers by means of the primary 14 video games of the season. But throughout this four-game profitable streak, Illinois is averaging simply 9.2 turnovers. Opponents have scored simply 22 factors off turnovers over the past three video games.

Don’t overlook: Brandon Lieb tied a career-high with 4 factors as he performed a career-high 12 minutes on account of foul bother to Dainja and Hawkins. Lieb is simply a spot minute choice, and the 7-footer might be taken benefit of defensively at instances. But the third-year heart had a few powerful finishes at the basket and a block. That earned him belief from Underwood to play prolonged minutes, and Lieb helped Illinois maintain a lead into halftime.

Also, freshman Ty Rodgers is beginning to come into his personal. The top-50 recruit struggled early however has now performed 10+ minutes in 4 of the final six Big Ten video games and is giving Illinois a junkyard canine presence on protection and on the glass. On Monday, he had a career-high eight factors and career-high eight rebounds in 22 minutes.

What’s subsequent: Illinois hosts Indiana for a 7:30 pm tipoff Thursday (FS1). Since a 7-0 begin, Indiana has misplaced six of eight video games towards high-major opponents, together with 4 consecutive road losses. The Hoosiers (11-6, 2-4 Big Ten) are hurting with veteran starters Xavier Johnson and Race Thompson each sidelined with accidents. huge man Trayce Jackson-Davis (17.4 factors, 9.9 rebounds, 2.9 blocks) is taking part in like an All-American and Jalen Hood-Schifino (13.4 factors, 4.5 assists) is in the Big Ten Freshman of the Year race, however Indiana’s protection has slipped from No. 1 in defensive effectivity throughout Big Ten play final season to No. 8 to this point this season.

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