It quickly became evident on Thursday night that the Illinois Fighting Illini (13-17, 5-12) were no match for the No. 14 Maryland Terrapins (24-6, 12-5). The Orange and Blue had yet another sluggish start, failing to account for any points in the first six minutes of action. They managed to stick around, though, and somehow entered halftime facing a mere 10-point deficit.
The Illini then proceeded to have one of their typical second halves. They were outscored 50-34 in the final 20 minutes of play, and even trailed by a staggering 30+ points for several minutes. Sophomore point guard Melo Trimble (18 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists) was the catalyst for this explosion from the Terrapins.
Maverick Morgan was the lone bright spot for Illinois in this contest. The junior big man notched the first double-double of his career (21 points, 10 rebounds) while completely shutting down Maryland freshman Diamond Stone.
"If not for Maverick Morgan this would be ugly" - Rece Davis on a 20-point deficit for Illinois.— Jason Patt (@Bulls_Jay) March 4, 2016
If you're keeping track, Illinois is 0-4 when playing on ESPN this year. Not only that, but they've been absolutely run out of the damn gym each time on national television.
Let's revisit #Illini on ESPN...— Derek Piper (@DPiperScout) March 4, 2016
Jan 7: Loss by 25 at MSU
Jan 19: Loss by 34 at IU
Feb 25: Loss by 27 vs IU
March 3: Loss by 26 at MD
That's pitiful. Just absolutely pitiful.
So, clearly, Illinois has trouble competing against good teams. We knew that. The good news, though? Including the inevitable first round loss in the Big Ten Tournament, we'll only be subjected to two more games of this nonsense.
Hill & Nunn had 13 points combined vs. IU last Thursday. 15 combined tonight at MD.— Derek Piper (@DPiperScout) March 4, 2016
Can't happen for #Illini to compete vs. good teams.
The following gif is representative of Illini players on offense who don't have the basketball: pic.twitter.com/qY6zToIbrK— Eliot Sill (@EliotTweet) March 4, 2016
Too much of Illinois' offense is just individuals making plays. No one else was open, and this is a tough shot. pic.twitter.com/w30qmDzAGr— Big Ten Geeks (@bigtengeeks) March 4, 2016
That's all I've got. Illinois' final game of the regular season will be at 12:00pm on Sunday against the Penn State Nittany Lions (15-14, 6-10). For those of our readers on campus, please don't do anything too stupid during Unofficial tomorrow.
Illinois Fighting Illini Stats
Maryland Terrapin Stats