The #10 Illinois Fighting Illini lost their first game of the season against the #12 Missouri Tigers in the Braggin’ Rights game.
Illinois’ twelve game win streak came to an end in a game that resembled a March Madness game rather than an early season non-conference game.
The game was hard-fought by both teams. Late in the first half after a Brandon Paul free throw, Missouri’sLaurence Bowers and Illinois’Sam McLaurin got into a scuffle. Both players were given technical fouls.
Both teams continued to fight in the second half. The Fighting Illini took a 58-57 lead after Joseph Bertrand hit a jumper with 9:12 left in the game.
However, the Tigers went on a 9-0 in the second half which put them in the lead 70-64. Missouri would hold on to defeat the Fighting Illini, 82-73.
Despite losing, Illinois had four players with double-digit points. These players were Brandon Paul, Tyler Griffey, Nnanna Egwu, and Joseph Bertrand.
Paul led the Illini with 23 points against Missouri on Saturday.
He went 5-of-18 from the field, but went 11-of-14 from the foul line. Paul also recorded eight rebounds, five assists, and two blocks.
Just like Illinois, Missouri had four players with double-digit points, but also had three to record double-doubles.
Missouri controlled the boards in this game and out-rebounded the Illini 58-35. Laurence Bowers and Alex Oriakhi led the team in rebounds. Bowers finished 23 points and 10 rebounds while Oriakhi scored 13 points, but grabbed 14 rebounds.
The two other players to show up for the Tigers were Phil Pressey and Jabari Brown. Pressey did not shoot well, but still recorded a double-double with 12 points and 11 assists. Brown scored 18 points and was a key player during Missouri’s 9-0 run in the second half.
On top of it all, the Fighting Illini only made three field goals in the final 3:29.
The Fighting Illini are now 12-1 on the season.
Illinois will play their next game against the Auburn Tigers on December 29th. Auburn lost to Winthrop 74-67 in their last game. The Tigers are 5-6 this season.
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