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We’re ‘Braggin: A Look Back at Illinois Current 5-Game Win Streak over Mizzou

There’s no better feeling for Illini Nation than leaving Enterprise Center in St. Louis w/a win over Missouri.

Illinois v Missouri Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Braggin’ Rights.

Growing up a Texas Longhorns fan and watching every UT football game with my ‘Horns alumnus father, I was captivated by what I saw on TV when Texas would play Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl: A neutral site game with fans literally split down the middle of the bleachers. This is what it looks like, and it wasn’t until I enrolled at the University of Illinois in 2007 did I realize the Illini matched that visual on the basketball court when they played Missouri in St. Louis.

Illinois head coach Brad Underwood agrees, reflecting on his 1-0 record against Missouri in his post-ETSU press conference last week:

It’s been rough goings for Illini Basketball out of the gate in 2018-19, but that feeling dissipates quickly and permanently — for a full year at least — if and when Illinois beats Mizzou on Saturday.

Here’s a look at how the last five Braggin’ Rights games have gone.

2013: Illinois 65, Mizzou 64

Illinois leading scorer: Tracy Abrams w/22 points

Mizzou leading scorer: Jordan Clarkson w/25 points

Notes: This one started out poorly for the Illini. Mizzou jumped out to a 12-3 lead to start the game, Mizzou guard Jordan Clarkson doing a little bit of everything — scoring layups, making jump shots and involving his teammates.

Tracy Abrams was critical for the Illini, making seven of his ten free throw attempts, including two with under five seconds left in the game to cap off the win. Mizzou was the better, more efficient team offensively — and in a game this close, it came down to turnovers: Mizzou’s 14 to Illinois’ 11 was the difference.

2014: Illinois 62, Mizzou 59

Illinois v Missouri
Rayvonte Rice scores the buzzer beating 3-pointer to secure Braggin’ Rights glory. Rice is an Illini legend because of this shot.
Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Illinois leading scorer: Rayvonte Rice w/19 points

Mizzou leading scorer: Johnathan Williams w/15 points

Notes: Michael Jordan over Craig Ehlo. Rayvonte Rice over Johnathan Williams and Keith Shamburger. It’s one of those rare shots in the history of Illini basketball where any Illini fan can tell you where they were and who they were with when Rice hit that 3-pointer and cemented himself as one of the most clutch players to wear the orange and blue.

This game was close throughout. The Illini never held a lead larger than five, Mizzou no larger than three in what was a neck-and-neck second half. Wearing the throwback uniforms, Illinois displayed resiliency and toughness trading back-and-forth blows with the Tigers.

2015: Illinois 68, Mizzou 63

Illinois leading scorer: Malcolm Hill w/21 points

Mizzou leading scorer: Wes Clark w/21 points

Notes: This game stands out because of the way Illinois almost let this one slip. Up 42-27 at halftime, once Illinois scored 50 points with 16 minutes left in the game, it would take them a full 9.5 minutes before scoring another basket. At that point, Mizzou had cut into the lead and were down by just five points with 9:07 left to play.

The Illini made some clutch free throws down the stretch to seal this in the waning minutes. Kendrick Nunn had a monster game too: 19 points, 11 rebounds and four steals.

2016: Illinois 75, Mizzou 66

Illinois leading scorer: Malcolm Hill w/21 points

Mizzou leading scorer: Kevin Puryear w/17 points

Notes: Overall, this was a dominating performance by the Illini. Mizzou never held a lead in this game, and Illinois shot 49 percent from the field compared to Mizzou’s 36.1 percent.

The Illini out-rebounded the Tigers, and if it weren’t for the lopsided turnover margin — Illinois’ 15 turnovers to Mizzou’s eight, the final score could have been 85-66. It’s safe to say that of this five-game Braggin’ Rights win-steak, this was Missouri’s weakest team.

2017: Illinois 70, Mizzou 64

Illinois leading scorer: Trent Frazier w/22 points including 10/11 from the free throw line

Mizzou leading scorer: Kassius Robertson w/22 points

Notes: Former Illini commit now starting Mizzou center Jeremiah Tilmon scored the game’s first basket to put the Tigers up 2-0. That would be Mizzou’s first and only lead of the game, and Illinois really controlled this thing until the very end.

The Illini were up by 20 points at halftime, rattling Mizzou with the in-your-face pressure Brad Underwood’s teams are known for. Mizzou settled back down, but that 20-point deficit was too much to overcome.

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