Monday, February 02, 2009

Getting Back Up Again

No question the Illini got knocked down against Minnesota, but Sunday they got back up and looked more like the team we've come to expect this season. Illinois beat Iowa 62-54. It wasn't an easy win, but it was a win.

It took more than a half, and perhaps Chester Frazier's steal and 3 that was called off at the buzzer, but back in Champaign, the Illini found their stroke again, shooting nearly 48%. And they remembered how to pass, with 18 assists on 23 baskets (McCamey had 7, Frazier had 5). The big Illini advantage was found down low. Mike Tisdale led the Illini with 18, and Dominique Keller added 12 off the bench.

But perhaps the most surprising stat for the Illini was rebounding. Illinois dominated the boards 34-19. Mike Davis had 10 rebounds, and Calvin Brock added 8. Of course, without Cyrus Tate, the Hawkeyes were missing a big piece of their inside game.

The Illini D gave up plenty of open shots, though. And in the first half, the Illini still looked a bit frozen. But if they continue to build consistency in a few areas, the Illini should continue to be in the Big Ten fight:

Go Illini!


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