The Illinois Fighting Illini (4-2) were looking to get back on track after an embarrasing loss to Winthrop, however the No. 19 West Virginia Mountaineers (4-0) had different plans on Thanksgiving afternoon. John Groce’s squad looked completely and utterly outmatched against their Big 12 opponent, and they ultimately lost by a final score of 89-57.
Bob Huggins’ signature full-court press absolutely smothered Illinois’ offense all afternoon, forcing an incredible 24 turnovers in the process. It was a truly terrible display from the Fighting Illini. It actually got to the point where you had to wonder if the coaching staff even prepared their players for such a look from the opposition.
Michael Finke had a game-high 13 points and 4 rebounds on 5-10 shooting for Illinois. The only other member of the roster to reach double figures was Mike Thorne Jr., who had 12 points and 7 rebounds on a perfect 7-7 day from the field.
The Mountaineers were led by Nathan Adrian, who totaled 13 points and 8 rebounds on 4-7 shooting.
Next up for Illinois? Another ranked opponent, unfortunately, as the No. 25 Florida State Seminoles lost their semifinal matchup to Temple on Thursday by a final score of 89-86. The Orange and Blue will tip off at 11:30am CT on Friday, and the contest will be televised on ESPN2.