ST. LOUIS — Statement. Rivalry. Win.
Last December’s matchup was one most would like to forget about, but the Illini used it as motivation.
No. 13 Illinois came into the Enterprise Center Friday night with the biggest chip on its shoulder possible, and it showed. Through impressive fluidity on offense and lockdown defense, the orange and blue took back Braggin’ Rights in commanding fashion, 97-73.
It was never one to sweat over either.
The Tigers scored the first two points of the game, but from there it was all Illini (9-2, 1-0 Big Ten).
Seven threes — three of which from Coleman Hawkins — and 50% shooting from the field in the first half contributed to what ended up becoming a blowout.
Impressive offense was complimented on the other end of the court, as defensively Illinois made Missouri (7-5) seem lost. Only allowing one made three and holding the opponent to 23.8% from the field allowed for the lead to continue growing throughout the stanza.
Terrence Shannon Jr. (17) and Coleman Hawkins (13) combined for 30 points, which alone outscored Missouri’s 24 in the half. The Illini would lead by 25 into the break.
Although, it seemed Illinois got a bit too comfortable to start in the second half, as Missouri cut the lead to 18 with just over 10 minutes to play.
But Shannon and Quincy Guerrier made sure that the Tigers’ efforts would not put the game in risk of becoming close. Guerrier scored a season-high 28 points in the contest (16 in second half) and hit five threes.
Shannon ended up leading all scorers in the game with 30 on 9-of-14 shooting, continuing his case for being one of the top players in the country.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
DOUBLE DOUBLE.: TSJ wanted this one very badly. Clearly.
After last year’s debacle, Shannon wanted the right to lift the Braggin’ Rights trophy in his time at Illinois. His 30 points and 11 rebounds resulted in the only double-double in Friday’s game.
LOCKDOWN: In the first half, Missouri shot 1-of-13 from behind the arc and only 26% from the field. A big reason the game was out of reach right away.
COL3MAN HAWKINS: More of that, please.
The senior forward had a very efficient first half that included going 3-of-5 from deep. His 13 first-half points was second amongst all scorers behind Shannon’s 17.
ASSIST-TURNOVER RATIO: The orange and blue dished the ball very often in the win, totaling 17 team assists as opposed to 10 turnovers. A positive ratio usually always results in good things.
Looking at the other side, Missouri had only six assists as opposed to seven turnovers.
DOMASK STRUGGLES: This was the lone issue in Friday’s win.
Marcus Domask scored 10 points while going 0-for-7 from three. More consistent play from the fifth year senior is going to be needed for this team to have success against Big Ten opponents.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
That 5 a.m. strength.
Quincy is starting to roll with the long ball.
In case you didn’t hear, this matchup isn’t going anywhere. It was announced earlier Friday that the series would continued to be played in St. Louis until 2029.
- Illinois improved to 34-20 all-time against Missouri.
- The Illini have won two of the last three matchups in the series (both in blowout fashion).
- Brad Underwood is now 3-4 against Missouri as the Illinois head coach.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Hard to help it after a performance like that.
Another week off before hosting the last regular season non-conference opponent, as Illinois welcomes in Fairleigh Dickinson — who beat Purdue in last year’s NCAA tournament — next Friday.
Tip off will be Dec. 29 at 8 p.m. on BTN.