ST. LOUIS — This game was ugly. Like really ugly.
Kobe Brown and D’Moi Hodge combined for 51 points, and Missouri outplayed Illinois from start to finish in a 93-71 blowout win for 2022 Braggin’ Rights at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis.
Illinois led 12-10 early in the first half, but a string of almost nine minutes without a made field goal resulted in Missouri exploding on a 22-3 run to take a 17-point lead. After this scoring clinic, Hodge’s point total (13) almost outscored the entire Illinois team (15).
It just kept getting worse. A 10-0 Tigers run gave them a shocking 49-23 lead late in the first half. At halftime, Hodge’s 18 points and Brown’s 15 points headlined a 51-27 Missouri lead.
The Tigers (11-1) were controlling every aspect of the game. They held the Illini (8-4, 0-2 Big Ten) to an abysmal 1-of-15 shooting behind the arc and forced 9 turnovers in the first half.
On the offensive side, Missouri was arguably even better. At half, the team had an unprecedented 1.545 points per possession.
Missouri continued the dominant performance in the second half, as Brown piled on 16 more points to give him a career-high 31 points. He had a near double-double, dishing out an impressive eight assists and adding four steals as well.
Everyone in yellow couldn’t miss, and before anyone could catch their breath, the Tigers stretched the lead farther out of hand to 74-39. From there, the lead never went below 20 points.
Shocked? Appalled? Embarrassed? Yeah, this game had Illini Nation feeling every negative emotion in the book.
You could say tonight was just not the Illini’s night, but that has been the case for every game since they pulled off the dramatic upset against Texas over two weeks ago.
Brad Underwood is searching for answers, and he needs to find them fast.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
EARLY RUNS: After squandering an early six-point lead, Missouri forced a handful of Illinois turnovers en route to a 15-0 run to take a 25-12 lead midway through the first half. The Illini didn’t cut it to single digits for the rest of the game.
WHAT LEADERS?: Starters are supposed to score right? Skyy Clark and RJ Melendez didn’t score. Coleman Hawkins didn’t score until 30 seconds left in the first half, and he finished with only 4 points on 2-8 shooting.
ON FIRE: Missouri shot 59% from the field and 50% from three on the game. Despite shooting 10 less threes than the Illini, they still managed to make three more. No team is losing with those numbers.
The trend continues.
Coleman Hawkins has 5 turnovers or more in five of Illinois' 12 games.— Derek Piper (@DPiper247) December 23, 2022
That's a problem.
Not a record anyone wants to break.
The 93-71 loss to Mizzou is the largest loss for Illinois in the Braggin’ Rights history.— Noah Cowell (@cowell_noah) December 23, 2022
The previous record was an 18-point loss in 1994.
TWEETS OF THE GAME
@Shauna_Green hey can you get to St. Louis quickly and fix this please?— Noted Battlehawks Fan Alex Orr (@theorryouknow) December 23, 2022
soft, undisciplined and they don’t get along. not a great combo— Tristen Kissack (@TKissack20) December 23, 2022
The Illini get another much-needed week off before going back to Champaign to host Bethune-Cookman next Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on FS1.