Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Mr. Pruitt, Your Table is Ready

Despite a sprained ligament (MCL) in his left knee that threatened to keep him on the bench, Shaun Pruitt put on a brace and played 32 minutes as he led the Illini to victory over Indiana with 10 points and 13 rebounds. He also helped hold the Big Ten's reining player of the week, D.J. White to 12 points and 8 rebounds (only 4 points and 3 boards in the 2nd half plus 3 turnovers). Perhaps most important was the leadership Pruitt provided to the team in helping them finish off a victory against a top 25 opponent.

This win was badly needed and the team played outstanding defense (Indiana went nearly 12 minutes without a basket in the first half, and 5.5 minutes in the second half), even with Brian Randle unable to play due to a foot injury. The win keeps Illinois' hopes for an NCAA Tournament berth alive and hopefully gives them a positive feeling and some momentum. For more game coverage, check out this article and this one too.

P.S. Coach Weber was about as animated as I have ever seen him during this game. You think he wanted this one badly? To answer my own question, yes he did. Why you ask? If you have been reading Chief's posts late, it is because of this. Until later, GO ILLINI!!!

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